Poblanos Stuffed with Cheddar and Chicken
Poblano peppers are often called“Pasilla Peppers”. They are quite mild. This recipe was so delicious that I will make this quite often. The sauce was the star, made with fresh tomatoes. The hint of cinnamon worked beautifully with this dish. I spent a little extra time by making my own shredded chicken, and cooking brown rice with the leftover chicken broth—and I think it stepped up the deliciousness even more. This is a very vesatile recipe. Black beans could easily be substituted for the chicken to make this a vegetarian meal. Go forth and make it—your family will thank you. Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, December 2008.
- FOR THE SAUCE (So delicious, I recommend doubling it):
- 4 large poblano chiles
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- Generous pinch ground cinnamon
- Kosher salt
- For the Chicken & Rice:
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, preferably dark meat*
- 1-1/2 cups cooked brown** or white rice
- 2 cups grated sharp or extra-sharp white Cheddar (about 7 oz.)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (including some tender stems)
- 1 Tbs. lime juice
- OPTIONAL SHREDDED CHICKEN RECIPE:
- 4-5 chicken thighs (boneless or bone-in, doesn't matter)
- 2 tsp whole peppercorns
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 tsp Mexican Seasoning Blend*** (or taco seasoning)
- Water (enough to cover the chicken. NOTE: I add one packet of Trader Joe's reduced sodium chicken broth concentrate)
- My Mexican Seasoning Blend:
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp. oregano
- Mix together and store in an airtight container.
Adapted from foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.com
To make this recipe you can use rotisserie chicken, or leftover chicken. However, I prefer to make my own chicken so that I can control what seasonings I use—and the leftover . Dark chicken worked great in this recipe, because the chicken turned out very moist, and flavorful. Here’s what I did—
Place the chicken in a pot; add the seasonings, Bay leaves and whole garlic cloves. I like to add some chicken broth concentrate for extra flavor, but this is optional. Bring to a boil and simmer, on low, for about an hour.
Remove the chicken, and allow to cool enough to shred. I prefer to use my hands, but two forks works well, too. Strain the broth and reserve.
I used brown rice and cooked it, per package directions, with the reserved broth. Delicious! Set aside.
Position an oven rack about 4 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
Slit the chiles from stem to tip and set on the baking sheet. Broil, turning every few minutes, until blackened all over, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, peel off the skins, and cut out the seed cores, leaving the stems on. OPTIONAL: Turn the chiles inside out, flick out any remaining seeds, and turn right side out. NOTE: I didn’t do this step, as as spoon removed the seeds just fine. Return the poblanos to the baking sheet.
Purée the tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a food processor.
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
Add the purée and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture looks thick and pulpy, 8 to 11 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Stir in the chicken and rice, and then 1 cup of the cheese, the cilantro, and the lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Divide the filling among the peppers, wrapping the sides of the peppers up and around the filling, some of which will still be exposed.
Broil the peppers until the cheese is melting and the top is beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Top with the remaining 1 cup cheese and broil until the cheese is completely melted, about 2 minutes.
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