Monday, October 7, 2013

Southwest Chicken Bits

Southwest Chicken Bits recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
As soon as I tasted the Pan Fried Southwest Chicken that I made a week or so ago, I knew that those spices would be an awesome variation on the Indian Chicken Bits that have been a family favorite for a couple of years now. Chicken Bits are my go-to, "I don't really want to think about what's for dinner" kind of meal. The whole family loves them and they are a fuss free main dish guaranteed to be a success. I've made this chicken twice in the past week and we didn't have a bite leftover either time.

This is really simple weeknight meal, easily start to finish in less than 30 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes to prep the chicken, but that's the real extent of the work. It gets diced into really tiny 1/2" pieces and then tossed in a big ziploc with plenty of spices. Then the chicken sits on the counter and absorbs the spices for a bit while I prep the rest of the meal. The chicken is great with roasted broccoli and potatoes or sometimes I make Spanish rice to go with it. When the sides are almost finished cooking, I toss the chicken in a super hot skillet and cook it just before serving.

Southwest Chicken Bits
Yield: 4-6 servings
(printable recipe)

1 1/2 - 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, I used thighs (the original recipe was for breasts)
3 tablespoons coconut oil or light flavored olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

* All of the above spices can be substituted with 2 tablespoons of this Mexican Spice Mix, if you have it on hand. I highly recommend tossing a batch together, because I'll have another great recipe to use more of it tomorrow!

Dice the chicken into small pieces, approximately 1/2" - 3/4" in size. Set aside in a medium size bowl or large ziploc bag and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil to coat. In a small dish or measuring cup, combine all of the spices. Sprinkle over the chicken and toss well to coat. Let the chicken rest with the spices for at least 10 minutes. (This can also be done earlier in the day and then kept in the refrigerator until ready to cook.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken. Saute, tossing with tongs or stirring constantly, until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through. This should take just 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the chicken.

Remove the chicken pieces from the pan when they are finished cooking. Because the pieces are small, they will dry out if left in the hot pan. Serve with Homemade Ranch Dip or Southwest Ranch Dipping Sauce. (recipe coming tomorrow!) Enjoy!

Southwest Chicken Bits recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Crispy Onion, Red Potato, Pepper and Mushroom Skillet

TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Garlic Smashed Potatoes


  1. with all my favourite spices it would have to be good.

  2. I love your Mexican Spice Mix and enjoy it sprinkled on sauteed onions to use on tacos, or any other recipe where onions are welcome. These simple chicken bits would be great - thanks for another flavorful, easy, delicious recipe! Have a great week Mary.

  3. Hi Mary,

    It was so nice to meet you on Friday and thank you for giving me your card. All your recipes look great and I can't wait to try them!


    1. Hi Felicia! I enjoyed meeting you too!! I'm glad you like the site. Have a great week!

  4. This, some Mexican rice, cheese, and black beans and this would make an incredibly good chimichanga!

  5. Oh yes, I can see how this could easily be a "go to" week night meal. On my must try list for sure!!

  6. Tonight for dinner I made the southwestern chicken bites ,, Love them Thank you so much..