If you love both Mexican and Italian food, then here is a recipe just for you. My Mexican chicken parmesan is a combination of both. Taking the method of breading chicken and then topping it with cheese and sauce, but instead of marinara and mozzarella, I use salsa and cheddar or pepper jack. I also swap out the traditional bread crumb coating for crushed tortilla chips. This recipe is easy to make, and the flavors are both saucy and a bit spicy. So when you can’t decide between Mexican or Italian, this tasty chicken will give you a taste of both!

Belle’s Mexican Chicken Parmesan

4 cups tortilla chips, crushed finely

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or two chicken breasts)

1 cup flour

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

3 eggs

½ cup oil

2 cups salsa

4 thick slices of cheddar or pepper jack cheese

½ cup coarsely chopped onion

Jalapeno or other peppers, chopped (optional)

Place the crushed chips in a shallow bowl. Mix together the flour, chili powder, and salt in another shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in another shallow bowl. Pound the chicken thighs in a gallon zipper bag until ½ thick. Dredge the chicken thighs in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then the tortilla chips. Heat the oil to medium-high in a large skillet. Fry each chicken piece until golden brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Place ½ cup of salsa on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Place the browned chicken on top. Place about ¼ cup of salsa over each chicken piece. Place a slice of cheese on top and sprinkle with the chopped onions and peppers. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 35 minutes or until cheese is melted and the chicken is no longer pink inside.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins and a grandmother of eight. She is a cookbook author and novelist. For more recipes and information, visit her website www.talesofthedinnerbelle.com.