Esquites-Esque Creamed Corn Chicken Recipe

Introducing a delectable twist on the classic comfort food — creamed corn chicken with a touch of esquites inspiration. Recipe developer Erin Johnson brings us this mouthwatering recipe combining tender chicken breast smothered in a creamy corn sauce bursting with the flavors of Mexican street corn. Johnson tells us, "I love elotes and equites and this dish replicates those flavors in an easy weeknight meal twist."

Esquites, a beloved street food, serves as the inspiration behind this delightful fusion dish that will transport your taste buds to the bustling streets of Mexico City. Succulent chicken is pan-seared to perfection and then simmered in a luscious creamed corn sauce, featuring off-the-cob corn kernels, tangy lime juice, and a hint of smoked paprika for a subtle kick. Topped with crumbled cotija cheese and fresh cilantro, this dish brings together the savory, sweet, and smoky notes of esquites in a comforting, unforgettable meal that will leave your family and guests craving for more.

Gather your esquites-esque creamed corn chicken ingredients

To make this esquites-esque creamed corn chicken, you can start by gathering your ingredients. For this recipe, you will need chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, butter, onion, jalapenos, corn, Mexican crema, lime juice, lime zest, cotija cheese, and cilantro.

As far as ingredient substitutions, Johnson notes, "Fresh corn off the cob is the best option, but you can use canned or frozen if that's what you have on hand." For those that love the heat, Johnson advises, "If you want this dish to be spicier, consider using Serrano peppers in addition to the jalapeños, or include some of the jalapeño seeds."

Sauté the seasoned chicken

In a large skillet, add the chicken pieces along with the seasonings. Add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, as well as the smoked paprika. Sauté and continue to cook the chicken until the chicken is cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 F.

Johnson tells us, "The smoked paprika gives a nice smoky flavor to this dish that mimics grilling the corn without the effort." She's right! Smoked paprika is a flavorful spice that adds a unique smokiness to dishes. It is made from dried and ground red peppers that have been smoked over wood fires, giving it a distinct taste that sets it apart from regular paprika.

Add most of the remaining ingredients

Remove the chicken from the pan, before adding in one tablespoon of the butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the onion and jalapeno. Allow these veggies to cook down and become tender. Then, add the corn and the remaining tablespoon of butter. The butter not only works as the cooking fat here but adds lots of creaminess and flavor. Then, add the crema, lime zest, and lime juice.

At this point, as things come together, Johnson suggests, "If you find the corn mixture to be too thick, add a little milk to the pan." Alternatively, Johnson notes, "If you use canned or frozen corn, it may be a little runny and you may need to cook the corn longer to evaporate some of the moisture."

Finish it off by adding the cotija and cilantro

Lastly, add the chicken back to the pan along with half of the cotija cheese. Give this mixture a stir before sprinkling over the remaining cotija cheese and cilantro on top. Johnson says, "I like to serve this with a slice of crusty bread to soak up all the cream and flavor." If you want to keep the form of starch in alignment with the Mexican cuisine, we'd suggest reaching for a tortilla too!

While we don't expect there to be any leftovers of this delectable dish, Johnson tells us, "This keeps in the fridge for up to 3 days. You may need to add a little milk before reheating as it will firm up in the fridge."

Esquites-Esque Creamed Corn Chicken Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
This mouthwatering recipe combines tender chicken breast smothered in a creamy corn sauce bursting with the flavors of Mexican street corn.
Prep Time
Cook Time
creamed corn chicken with crusty bread
Total time: 30 minutes
  • 1½ pounds chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 large jalapeños, diced
  • 5 ears corn, cut off cob
  • ¾ cup Mexican crema
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • ½ cup cotija cheese, divided
  • Cilantro, chopped
  1. In a large skillet, sauté the chicken and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from the pan.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and then add the onion and jalapeño.
  3. When the onions have softened, add the corn and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir.
  4. Pour in the crema, lime zest, and lime juice. Allow to cook for minutes on medium heat.
  5. Add the chicken back to the skillet and stir in half the cotija cheese.
  6. Top with the remaining cheese and cilantro before serving.
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