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Million Dollar Chicken

February 25, 2010

By Kath Dedon


In 1998 Ellie Mathews of Seattle won the Million Dollar Grand Prize in Pillsbury’s Bake-Off® Contest for her “Salsa Couscous Chicken Recipe”.  We have always referred to it as “Million Dollar Chicken”!

This recipe serves 4, but you can easily cut it in half to serve 2, or double it for a crowd.


Million Dollar Chicken

(Adapted from the recipe developed by Ellie Mathews, the Million Dollar Grand Prize winner in the 1998 Pillsbury’s Bake-Off® Contest)


(printable recipe)


1 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup slivered almonds

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 chicken thighs, skin removed

1 cup salsa

¼ cup water

2 Tbsp. currants

1 Tbsp. honey

¾ tsp. cumin

½ tsp. cinnamon

Cooked rice


To make the sauce, combine the salsa, water, currants, honey, cumin and cinnamon.

Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the almonds and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Remove the nuts from the skillet.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until browned.  Turn and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and stir. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until done.  Serve topped with almonds over couscous or rice.


For boneless skinless thighs:

Use about 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs.

When you add the chicken, cook for about 2 minutes on each side (4 minutes total). Then add the sauce ingredients and mix well. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until done. Serve topped with the almonds over rice or couscous.

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