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Mexican Chicken Breasts with Scotch Bonnet Sauce

Yellow tomatoes add bright juiciness to the potently spicy Scotch bonnet sauce. Use boneless chicken breasts if you can't find boneless breasts with the wing joints attached.

Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 8

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marinated chicken
  • 3 dried pasilla chiles (see Note)
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles (see Note)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt
  • Eight 1/2-pound boneless chicken breast halves with wing drumettes attached
  • Freshly ground pepper
scotch bonnet sauce
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow tomato
  • 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • Salt


  1. In a large bowl, cover the pasilla and guajillo chiles with the boiling water and let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Stem and seed the chiles; coarsely chop them. Put the chiles in a blender with the garlic, onion, lime juice, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and blend until smooth.
  2. In a large pan, pour the chile marinade over the chicken breasts. Turn to coat completely, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.
  3. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Grill or broil the yellow pepper and tomato, turning, until the skins are charred all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 5 minutes. Discard the charred skins, stems and seeds and coarsely chop the pepper and tomato. Transfer to a blender and add the Scotch bonnet chile, vegetable stock and olive oil. Blend until smooth and season with salt.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season the breasts with salt and pepper. Grill or broil over a medium-hot fire for about 8 minutes per side, or until lightly charred and just cooked through. Transfer to plates and serve with the Scotch bonnet sauce.

Make Ahead

The marinade can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Spicy pasilla and fruity guajillo chiles are available at many supermarkets.

Suggested Pairing

Try a Merlot for the chicken. Try one from California or Washington State.

Contributed By Photo © Francois Dischinger Published September 1999

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