Believe it or not, this recipe evolved out a bunch of random leftover I had in the fridge. Yes folks, this is what leftovers look like in our house.
At least once a week, we roast a chicken for dinner, meaning leftover chicken for lunch or dinner in the foreseeable future. I make classic chiles rellenos on occasion, but the battering and frying required for that recipe can be a bit much after a day at the office. And well, you know, a girl has to think of her hair-do. Frying always hangs over me like a greasy halo until I wash my hair (Too much info? Probably. Moving on…)
Spicy or Mild?
It seems to me that chile poblano, the classic fresh chile used in making chile relleno, has become milder in recent years. Maybe in an effort to make them more marketable to the masses, the veggie scientist folks hybridized a lower heat level into them.
If chile poblano is still too hot for you, bell peppers are always a good substitute, although bell peppers are not roasted the way chile poblano are. Simply coat the bell pepper with a bit of vegetable oil, then roast for 3-4 minutes under a heated broiler, until it browns a bit. Wrap in towels and sweat as directed for the chile poblano. After 15 minutes, the skins should slip off easily.
And for those hot and spicy lovers out there, I added some chile piquin to the chicken stew. Tiny but fiery hot, chile piquin puts more spice in every bit. Of course, you could leave them out for a milder chile piquin, or just add one if you want spice, but not too much.
Remember this One
Fresh, spicy and different, you might want to remember this recipe next time you get home from work with out a clue what is for dinner, and find yourself staring down the business end of a leftover chicken.
Chile Rellenos con Pollo
- 4 fresh chile poblano, washed
- 1 clove garlic
- 2-3 dried chile piquin
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tomato, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cups sliced onions
- 2 cups cooked chicken, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. blanched almonds, chopped
- 2 tbsp. golden raisins (optional)
- ½ cup Mexican crema
- ½ cup queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled
In order to roast and peel the chile poblano, place the whole chile on a gas flame, or under an electric broiler in the oven. Roast the chiles until they are completely blackened, but not burnt and ashy, about 5 minutes. Remove the chiles from the heat. Wrap the chiles in a clean kitchen towel, and then place in a paper bag. Allow the chiles to sweat for about 15 minutes.
Remove the chiles from the bundle. Scrape the blackened skin away completely, then pierce with a knife, opening the chile lengthwise. Carefully remove the seed core, and then rinse to wash away blackened bits and seeds. Pat the chile dry with a clean towel.
Meanwhile, place the tomato, water, chile piquin and garlic in the container of a blender, and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a 10” skillet. Add the onions, and brown well over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, and heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the fresh tomato puree, and season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the almonds and raisins, and then remove the skillet from the heat.
Divide the chicken mixture into 4 equal portions, and stuff each of the chile poblano. Place on a serving tray, and garnish with the Mexican crema and queso fresco.