Mexican Chicken Skillet Recipe with Ancho Chiles

Mexican Chicken Skillet Recipe

This sultry Mexican chicken skillet recipe with the chocolatey richness of ancho chilies and the sweetness of prunes is a crowd pleaser. And a man pleaser. And it makes the house smell heavenly. What are you waiting for?

A good chicken skillet recipe is worth its weight in gold. 

This easy, Mexican style chicken Marbella comes together fast and in only one skillet.

When this old world starts getting me down and people are just to much for me to face, I look for recipes.  Yes, it would be nice if Carole King was playing in the background.

I suppose I should look her up on Spotify, but I’m not very good at that. I could drag out my music and sing my heart out on my out of tune piano, but that might scare the dogs.

Good thing cooking often helps brighten my mood and get me back on track.

I have a plethora of cookbooks, but sometimes it is easier to just look online. I read a lot of blogs and the last few weeks I have been slow on commenting. I apologize, my friends.

I get lots of ideas from all of the good cooks out there, but this recipe is from the New York Times. I can’t say I like reading the New York Times, except for maybe the weekend version, but I really do love their cooking section.

Yes, you too should subscribe. Every day they send emails about what to cook for the week or the weekend or the upcoming holidays. Sometimes they miss the mark and other times I think they know just what I want.

This recipe wasn’t a featured recipe, but somehow I stumbled onto the chicken page and while browsing I hit upon it.

Maybe it sounded like the perfect Sunday night dinner or maybe I knew the house would smell terribly good and I was right-this Mexican chicken skillet recipe delivered!

Mexican Chicken Skillet Recipe

Mexican Chicken Skillet Ingredients

I did know I could leave it on the stove with no worries if Manservant was running late or even nonexistent.

I also could serve it with polenta or mashed potatoes, rice or quinoa, and I love those. Preferably the mashers, but in this case I chose blue corn polenta, because the recipe suggested it.

I love polenta, but won’t do it again. This sauce was made for rice or mashers. Trust me on this.

You can also trust me on this recipe. It’s as simple as browning the chicken, chopping some onions and garlic and soaking the chilies.

What are Ancho chiles?

Ancho chiles or Ancho peppers are dried poblanos and I love poblanos, too.

The poblano pepper is left on the plant until it becomes red and dries. No time in Denver’s growing season for that, but I did get some good poblanos!

When poblanos are dried they become rich and mellow and are often used in moles.

Mexican Chicken Skillet Recipe

Miso? In Mexican food?

This healthy Mexican chicken also contains miso. Now I know miso is a Japanese ingredient made from fermented soybeans and that not everyone keeps miso in their fridge.

So stand by! Substitute soy sauce. It helps add the saltiness and the savory flavor that this recipe needs. Yes, it is so much more than adding plain old salt.

Prunes are great and they remind me of my old stand by chicken Marbella. No prunes? Figs or dates would taste great also!

 Chicken Marbella also contains olives and this braised chicken recipe would do very well with olives, if you’d like to add a few. And lots of oregano in chicken Marbella, too. Want to add some to this? Be my guest!

Add in some sherry for a bit of a kick, and last but not least, some sherry vinegar, and you have a meal that Manservant actually showed up for. That should tell you something.

The truth is that this one pot chicken recipe contains limited ingredients. And they all come together in a rich and satisfying dish that is very simple to make.

Perfect for a Sunday supper or a weeknight dinner, or even if company’s’ coming-this Mexican chicken skillet recipe is so good.

No, this isn’t a spicy recipe but it does have spice. The soothing kind of spice.

The kind that makes you come down from the roof and still dream of paradise. Or ask for seconds.

Mexican Chicken Skillet

More Chicken Skillet Recipes:

Mayan Mole Skillet Chicken

Mole Chicken

Chicken Scarpariello with Sausage and Peppers

chicken scarpariello

Chicken with Figs, Pumpkin and Red Wine

Chicken with red wine, figs and pumpkin

I’d Love if You’d Follow Me on Pinterest and Pin and Share!

Mexican Chicken Skillet Recipe

This is an updated recipe from March, 2017.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Mexican Chicken Skillet Recipe

Chicken with Ancho Chiles and Prunes

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 60 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican/American


This quick to make Mexican chicken skillet recipe is mellow with Ancho chiles and sweet with prunes. So good, so simple!


Units Scale

3 Dried Ancho chilies

1 T extra virgin olive oil

1 cut up chicken into 10 pieces

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Ancho chile powder

1 small red onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1 1/2 t ground cumin

3/4 c chicken stock

1/4 c fino sherry

1 T red miso or I used umami paste

16 pitted prunes

2 T sherry or sweet vinegar

Cilantro, radishes, chives, for garnish


Place dried Ancho chilies in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soften.

Heat oil over medium high heat in a large saute pan that has a lid. Dry chicken pieces and sprinkle well with salt, pepper, garlic and chile powder on all sides. Place in hot pan. Sear until golden on one side and turn over and brown on the other side. Remove pieces to platter. Reduce heat to low.

Add onions and garlic and saute until soft. Dust with cumin powder, stir and then add stock and sherry while scraping residue from pan. Stir in miso and remove from heat.

Drain chilies, cut in half and remove seeds and cores. Chop and add to sauce with prunes. Stir.

Return chicken and any juices to pan, basting with sauce. Cover and simmer on low 20 minutes or until done, basting occasionally, until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken to platter. Add vinegar to pan, bring to a simmer and stir. Check for salt and add if needed. If sauce has reduced to much add more chicken broth or water, though I had plenty of sauce. Spoon sauce and prunes over chicken. Scatter garnishes on top.



A Florence Fabricant recipe.

Keywords: chicken skillet recipes, braised chicken recipes, healthy Mexican chicken, one pot chicken recipes,



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    October 20, 2021 at 1:02 am

    what a great combo! love the sound of this one.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    October 14, 2021 at 7:33 am

    What a beautiful meal that I must try soon.

  • Reply
    Chef Mimi
    October 12, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    I don’t need quick and easy dinners, but I absolutely love this one! And I always have ancho chile paste on hand. Love this!

  • Reply
    John / Kitchen Riffs
    October 12, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    We all need loads of quick skillet dinners, and chicken is always so good and versatile. Love Mexican flavors, so this is perfect! 🙂 Thanks.

  • Reply
    April 29, 2017 at 4:04 am

    This was great! I found it here and checked the NYT cooking section where people noted that the recipe was a little sweet, so I only used 12 prunes. It was perfect for us! I also served along side a green rice recipe that helped to balance the sweetness. Thanks for sharing, I would never have found this recipe but for your blog!

    • Reply
      Abbe Odenwalder
      April 29, 2017 at 6:13 am

      So nice to be helpful Joy! I really liked this recipe! Green rice sounds perfect for this! Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 31, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    I get a lot of ideas from the NYT cooking section also and this is one that I missed. It sounds so delicious, Abbe. We could all use a little comfort food when this ole world starts getting us down 🙂

  • Reply
    March 30, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    This is such an interesting combination of flavors…spicy and sweet…I can only imagine how this chicken must taste…delicious!
    I hope you are having a great week Abbe 🙂

  • Reply
    March 30, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Thank you for this recipe. It looks stunningly delicious, and so unusual. I agree with you about NYT Cooking – a great resource, and this looks like obvious proof.

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    March 30, 2017 at 12:38 am

    What a delicious looking meal, love all the flavors especially the addition of prunes. And your plates are so colorful and gorgeous. The NY times cooking section is one my favorites too……

  • Reply
    Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen
    March 29, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    This is SUCH a pretty dish! I'm loving all those colors. And I'm the same, Abbe–I have a RIDIC cookbook collection but I have to force myself to bake/cook from it because, hi, how easy (and fun) is it to get recipes from blogs?

    • Reply
      October 13, 2021 at 9:20 am

      This may be a silly question, but do you put the seasoning on each side of the chicken after you brown it or before? The way I read your directions it seems that you do it after, but I thought you would want the flavors to be incorporated in the browning?

      • Reply
        October 13, 2021 at 9:56 am

        Hi Katie. I always add seasoning before I brown the chicken. And you can certainly do it on both sides. The more flavor the better! I’ll guess I’ll have to edit the recipe. Thanks for pointing it out!

  • Reply
    Amy (Savory Moments)
    March 29, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    This chicken dish looks so pretty and quite flavorful!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    What a mouthwatering dish! Love all of the tasty ingredients and find the addition of miso quite interesting. Wouldn't have thought to use miso in a Mexican inspired dish. Your list of "bases" is similar to mine, but like you, there are some bases that work with a sauces and others that don't. Thanks for the heads-up on using rice or mashed with this dish. Lovely photos BTW!

  • Reply
    Bobbi Marshall
    March 29, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    This dish has it all going on. Sweet, sour, savoury. spicy. Love it!

  • Reply
    mimi rippee
    March 29, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    A. Very. Interesting. Recipe… No, I'm not trying to be dramatic, my keyboard keeps adding periods and capital letters. I had to throw my last one away because it quit typing M's, commas, and periods. So odd. Anyway, a beautiful recipe, and I loved your post!

  • Reply
    Angie Schneider
    March 29, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I love the delicious combo of prunes, chiles and chicken…definitely a keeper.

  • Reply
    Liz Berg
    March 29, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Oooh, I bet you created a fabulous depth of flavor with these ingredients! Love how this looks on your beautiful plate, too 🙂

  • Reply
    Kitchen Riffs
    March 29, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Definitely a meal worth showing up for! Great dish — just loaded with flavor, and pretty to boot. Spicy is always good. Always. 🙂

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe rating