Elle Cosimano

Gena's Mexican Chicken Stew

In my favorite chapter of Dead Blue, Gena serves up a hearty, spicy stew. Her dish was inspired by my mom’s recipe, and it was actually what I had for dinner the night I wrote this part of the story. My parents live in Mexico on the Mayan Riviera, where my mom experiments regularly with local ingredients. Her natural ability in the kitchen means she rarely measures or records, and often improvises, much to my frustration. She’s a tough act to copy, but this recipe is pretty darn close to the real deal.

Gena’s Mexican Chicken Stew

2 ½ lbs skinned, boneless chicken thighs

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 large onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 red pepper, seeded and chopped

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 can diced tomatoes

2 small cans Herdez Salsa Casera

2-3 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro

1 can whole black beans, drained

1 can corn, drained


In large skillet, brown garlic and chicken in 1-2 tbs olive oil.

Season chicken with salt and pepper while browning.

Remove chicken and set aside.

Add onions, peppers, and carrots to pan. Cook until onion is translucent.

Place chicken on top of vegetables. Pour diced tomatoes and salsa over chicken.

Add cilantro. Cover pan and cook for 15 minutes. Then add beans and corn.

Cover and continue cooking. Stir frequently.

Let chicken simmer for 1- 1 ½ hours.

If necessary add small amount of water.

Serve over rice with following toppings: chopped grated cheese, sour cream, cubed avocado and fresh cilantro.