Mexican food is flavorful, colorful, and has tons of big flavor. One of my favorite dishes to order at Mexican restaurants is Chori Pollo, a dish consisting of tender chicken and chorizo sausage cooked in various spices and served over rice, cheese sauce, and sometimes tortillas.
If you're looking for a low-carb option, you can skip the rice and tortillas and enjoy the dish on its own. This dish is easy to make at home and can be customized to your liking and is a great addition to your list of easy family meals.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - Thin Sliced
- Mexican Chorizo
- White Onion - diced
- Unsalted Butter
- Whole Milk
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- White American Cheese
- PepperJack Cheese
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Vegetable or Olive Oil
- Corn Tortillas - Optional
The main ingredients are boneless skinless chicken breasts and Mexican chorizo, and then the cheese and chorizo topping. If you can't find Mexican chorizo sausage, you can try making your own homemade chorizo or substitute it with Spanish pork sausage.
🌶 The Chori (Chorizo)
Chorizo is a type of sausage that originated in Spain and Portugal but is now popular in many parts of the world, including Mexico and other Latin American countries. There are several different types of chorizo, and the type of chorizo used can affect the flavor and texture of the dish.
This is a cured sausage you'd find in the deli section that is typically made with pork, paprika, and garlic. It has a firm texture and is often sliced and eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in various dishes.
Mexican chorizo is a fresh sausage that is made with ground pork, chili powder, garlic, and vinegar. It has a softer texture than Spanish chorizo and is often used as a filling for tacos, burritos, and other Mexican dishes.
Puerto Rican Chorizo
Puerto Rican chorizo is similar to Mexican chorizo, but it often contains additional spices like oregano, cumin, and coriander. It is also commonly used as a taco filling or served with rice and beans.
Portuguese chorizo is a smoked sausage that is made with pork, paprika, and wine. It has a firm texture and is often sliced and eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in stews and soups.
Argentinian chorizo is typically made with beef and pork, and it has a mild flavor. It is often grilled and served as a sausage sandwich or used as a pizza topping.
Chorizo comes in different types and flavors, so you can experiment with hot versions or mild ones, depending on your preference. The heat of the chorizo will add a little bit of a kick to the dish, but it's not overpowering.
You can find a Homemade Chorizo recipe right here at Tabetha's Table, but the good news is recently I have seen a few new brands pop up in grocery stores! Ones that crumble similar to ground beef which is what I wanted.
If you go the store-bought route, the one I found came in similar packaging to ground beef in the square packaging. Don't Use Cacique! When I started recipe testing this dish, I immediately realized the most popular and available chorizo on the market doesn't work. Its moisture content is too high, a LOT of liquid came out, and it pretty much melted into nothing. I wanted crispy crumbly chorizo.
🐓 The Pollo (Chicken)
Chori Polli is generally served with thinner sliced chicken which makes it quicker to cook but also requires a little extra effort. We recommend the chicken be around ½" thick. This doesn't have to be exact.
There are a couple of ways to make chicken breast thinner:
Pound It With a Meat Mallet
Place the chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap or in a plastic bag and pound it with a meat mallet, heavy sauce pot, or rolling pin until it is even in thickness.
Butterfly the Chicken Breast
Use a sharp knife to cut the chicken breast horizontally almost all the way through, then open it up like a book.
You can always buy thinly sliced chicken straight from the grocery store as well, or ask your local butcher to butterfly them for you.
Cooking the chicken
This is the easiest part of the whole recipe. It's just a simple kosher salt (I prefer Diamond) and fresh ground pepper. I know that seems too simple, but I promise you it works!
The fat and spices that are leftover from cooking the chorizo as well as the remaining bits of onion are still sitting in the pan. The chicken will pick up that leftover flavor from the bottom of the pan too.
Use a heavy bottom medium saute pan or cast-iron skillet, and set the temperature to medium-high heat. Add olive oil, chorizo, and onion to the pan and cook until the onions are translucent and the chorizo is crispy.
Transfer the cooked chorizo/caramelized onion mixture to a bowl. We're going to add a tablespoon of this mix to your queso and set the rest to the side.
Season the chicken with kosher salt & fresh ground pepper and add to the pan. Cook on this side for around 4-5 minutes. Don't flip your chicken multiple times. The goal is to cook on one side, flip once, and be done. The more color we can create, the better. Browning = Flavor.
Once you've achieved a good golden color on your chicken it's time to flip it. DON'T forget to season the 2nd side of the chicken breast. Salt & pepper are important!
The chicken is done when it's reached a 165-degree internal temp, I recommend a digital thermometer. Make sure to check/probe in the center of the chicken.
Add the chorizo on top of the chicken, and finish by adding as much queso as you'd like. That is measured with your heart.
🧀 The Cheesy Chorizo Sauce
Next, we will need to make the cheesy queso-like top. Add the butter and flour to a heavy bottom sauce pot, and cook until light brown in color. This is called a roux and will help thicken your sauce.
Slowly add in the milk, whisking constantly. Once it starts to simmer, add the cheese, garlic powder, and onion powder, and stir until fully combined. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
If it's too thick, add more milk. To thin? Let it simmer for a few more minutes.
CHICKEN: Rotisserie Chicken or Chicken Tenderloins
CHORIZO: I don't recommend trying to make this dish without it, but if you're in a pickle...
- Ground beef or pork: With the addition of some chili powder, garlic, and other Mexican-inspired spices to keep a similar flavor profile.
- Soyrizo: If you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan substitute, soyrizo is a good option. It is made with soy protein and has a similar texture and flavor to traditional chorizo.
CHEESES: You can use a Mexican blend in replacement of both kinds of cheese if needed. Remember to add a ¼ teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes if you sub out the pepper jack!
👩🏼🍳 Chef Tip
#1 Having the right chorizo will make or break this recipe. Don't use Cacique! Either make your own or see if your local store sells a different variety.
#2 You can also buy pre-sliced thin chicken breast for this recipe if you are looking at shaving off a few minutes of prep!
🥗 Pair With
Anytime I ordered this out at a restaurant, it would be accompanied by rice and beans. I am not a huge bean fan (hence the No Bean Chili recipe) so I just stick with brown rice, but please add any additional sides you'd like.
If you find yourself with extras, we recommended storing the chicken and cheese sauce separately in an airtight container. The chicken can be microwaved for 1-2 minutes to reheat or until hot.
When reheating chorizo cheese sauce I always add it to a small pot, add a splash of milk and let it come back up to a simmer. The sauce will naturally thicken, so adding the milk (or water in a pinch) helps it thin back out. You may need to add another pinch of salt while you are at it.
You can use the Chori Pollo mixture as a taco filling, or to fill up a quesadilla. I've also used the leftover chorizo cheese mixture over nachos which I highly recommend!
- 2 tablespoon Butter
- 2 tablespoon Flour
- 1 ½ Cup Milk
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- 8 Slices American Cheese - 6 oz
- 2 Slices PepperJack Cheese - 3 oz
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
Chicken & Chorizo
- 2 Chicken Breast
- 8 oz Mexican Chorizo - 4 oz
- ½ cup Onion - diced
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- drizzle Olive OIl - enough to cover bottom of pan
- 8 Corn Tortillas - Optional
- Add the butter and flour to a heavy bottom sauce pot, and cook until light brown in color. This is called a roux and will help thicken your sauce.
- Slowly add in the milk, ing constantly.
- Once it starts to simmer, add the cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, and stir until fully combined.
- Taste, add salt and pepper as needed.
- If it's too thick, add more milk. To thin? Let it simmer for a few more minutes.
Chicken & Chorizo
- Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and dry with a paper towel.
- Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and use a meat tenderizer (or a heavy pot) to flatten the chicken to around ½" thick. This doesn't have to be exact. We are trying to make the chicken thinner, which will eliminate the need to put the chicken in the oven to finish cooking.
- Keep the chicken on the cutting board nearby. We will need it in just a few.
- Grab a heavy bottom saute pan or cast-iron skillet, set the temperature to medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil, chorizo, and onion to the pan cook until the onions are translucent and the chorizo is crispy.
- Remove chorizo/onion mixture. Add a tablespoon of this mix to your queso and set the rest to the side.
- Season the chicken with kosher salt & fresh ground pepper and add to the pan.
- Cook on this side for around 4-5 minutes. Do not flip it lots of times. The goal is to cook on one side, flip once, and be done. The more color we can create, the better. Browning = Flavor.
- Once you've achieved a good golden color on your chicken it's time to flip it. DON'T forget to season the 2nd side of the chicken breast. Salt & pepper are important!
- The chicken is done when it's reached a 165-degree internal temp, I recommend a digital thermometer. Make sure to check/probe in the center of the chicken.
- Add the chorizo to the top of the chicken, and finish by adding as much queso as you'd like. That is measured with your heart.
- This recipe can be made with chicken breast, tenders, or small bite-sized pieces. The most important thing is it gets enough brown coloring and that it's cooked all the way through.
- Not all Chorizo is the same. Spanish chorizo is very very different. When you think of Spanish chorizo think of charcuterie board. Mexican chorizo, think crumbly yummy meat bits you can add to enhance your dishes.
- I made my own chorizo and froze it for recipes like this. It isn't overly greasy and you can make it ahead of time, freeze it, and pull it out whenever you need it.
Want to take your cooking game to the next level? Here's a list of some of the tools I use every time I make this recipe that help make this a breeze!
[…] full of flavor and crumbly. Works so well in Chori Pollo, but also a perfect way to spice up your queso. I […]