Southwest Chicken Bits


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Southwest Chicken Bits recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

As soon as I tasted the Pan Fried Southwest Chicken that I made a week or so ago, I knew that those spices would be an awesome variation on the Indian Chicken Bits that have been a family favorite for a couple of years now.

Chicken Bits are my go-to, “I don’t really want to think about what’s for dinner” kind of meal. The whole family loves them and they are a fuss free main dish guaranteed to be a success.

I’ve made this chicken twice in the past week and we didn’t have a bite leftover either time.

This is really simple weeknight meal, easily start to finish in less than 30 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes to prep the chicken, but that’s the real extent of the work. It gets diced into really tiny 1/2″ pieces and then tossed in a big ziploc with plenty of spices.

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Then the chicken sits on the counter and absorbs the spices for a bit while I prep the rest of the meal. The chicken is great with roasted broccoli and potatoes or sometimes I make Spanish rice to go with it.

When the sides are almost finished cooking, I toss the chicken in a super hot skillet and cook it just before serving.

Southwest Chicken Bits recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

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Southwest Chicken Bits

Servings: 4 -6 servings


  • 1 ½ - 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken I used thighs (the original recipe was for breasts)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or light flavored olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • * All of the above spices can be substituted with 2 tablespoons of this Mexican Spice Mix if you have it on hand. I highly recommend tossing a batch together, because I'll have another great recipe to use more of it tomorrow!


  • Dice the chicken into small pieces, approximately 1/2" - 3/4" in size. Set
  • aside in a medium size bowl or large ziploc bag and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil to coat. In a small dish or measuring cup, combine
  • all of the spices. Sprinkle over the chicken and toss well to coat. Let the chicken rest with the spices for at least 10 minutes. (This can also be done earlier in the day and then kept in the refrigerator until ready to cook.)
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over high heat. When
  • the oil is hot, add the chicken. Saute, tossing with tongs or stirring constantly,
  • until the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through. This should
  • take just 3-4 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the chicken.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the pan when they are finished cooking.
  • Because the pieces are small, they will dry out if left in the hot pan.
  • Serve with Homemade Ranch Dip or Southwest Ranch Dipping Sauce. (recipe coming tomorrow!) Enjoy!
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says

    I love your Mexican Spice Mix and enjoy it sprinkled on sauteed onions to use on tacos, or any other recipe where onions are welcome. These simple chicken bits would be great – thanks for another flavorful, easy, delicious recipe! Have a great week Mary.

  2. Anonymous says

    Hi Mary,

    It was so nice to meet you on Friday and thank you for giving me your card. All your recipes look great and I can't wait to try them!