Santa Fe Chicken

I love chips and salsa.  Love, love, love.  The kids thought I was crazy when I handed them the rest of the bag of tortilla chips and told them to crush them. The look of disbelief quickly transformed to elation and they happily smashed away.  Only once they were crushed did they ask what they were going to be used for. 

"Chicken of course!"

They didn't mind that I was going to coat the chicken with the tortilla chips but I did leave out the fact that I would be putting mayonnaise on it first.  Even thought I knew it would be delicious and no one would know, I didn't feel the need to share.  I just know I would have been greeted with cries of, "EEEWWW!  Mayonnaise on chicken!"  I didn't want to go there.

The chicken was delicious and no one seemed to care how it was breaded.  I left the salsa off for the weenies kids who don't eat salsa.  I was hoping for leftovers to put on a chicken salad the next day but none were left.  Successful dinner, I'd say.  

Santa Fe Chicken
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

2 - 3 lbs. boneless chicken breasts 

Salt and pepper 

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 - 3  cups tortilla crumbs*
1 - 1 1/2 cups salsa
1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, I used sharp cheddar

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large pan or baking sheet with parchment or grease well. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Set up a dredging station with the mayonnaise in a shallow bowl and the tortilla crumbs in another.
  3. Working one at a time coat each chicken breast lightly with mayonnaise, then tortilla crumbs, patting them on with your hands if needed.
  4. Bake about 20 - 25 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Remove the pan from oven and top each piece of chicken with salsa and cheese. Put the pan back in the oven about 5 minutes until cheese is melted, alternately you can turn on the broiler and broil them about 1 minute until cheese is melted with some golden spots.
    *For homemade tortilla crumbs, process 8 - 9 cups tortilla chips in a food processor or put them in a heavy duty plastic bag and pound them out.  Let your kids do it, they'll love it. 

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