Friday, September 9, 2011

Pollo con rajas poblanas / Chicken with poblano pepper slices

I guess there is not an accurate translation for the name of this Mexican dish, at least not one that sounds appealing... or is short enough... so anyway... this Chicken with poblano pepper slices is a VERY MEXICAN dish! You can have it on its own or in corn tortillas to makee tacos! I love this in tacos! They are great if you have a big party and you have many people coming over, just have your corn tortillas (or even flour) ready and warm so everyone gets a big spoonful in their own tortilla! They will love it!

Have I ever told you how wonderful poblano peppers are? I just love them!!! They have such a rich and at the same time mild flavor, there is heat in them, obviously, but there is also some sweetness to them that gives any dish a very unique and special taste! I love Poblano Peppers! And when they are roasted directly on the flames they are soooo good!  I think "Poblano Peppers" are my very favorite.

Since I do not have FIRE ON MY STOVE right now... I have to roast them in my electric oven, to do so I just line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place the previously washed (and pat dried) whole poblano peppers on top and bake them in a pre-heated oven at 450F.
 
 I check them after 6 minutes, turn them to the other side and leave them there for 6 more minutes and that's it! You have perfectly roasted poblano peppers. I found that even when I like my poblano peppers roasted directly on the fire of my stove top it has been pretty convenient to roast them in the oven, the flavor is definitely still there and the "peeling" part of it is much easier (plus the chilies roast more evenly).

How to peel and seed poblano peppers:

First of all I suggest you use latex gloves when dealing with any kind of pepper (unless it's just the nice and innocent green bell pepper), once you have roasted your poblano peppers you have to immediately put them inside a bag of plastic so they "sweat" and the peel becomes easier to remove, (besides their temperature won't be so hot once they have been in the bag for a little bit and that will make them easier to handle)

 ... If you are going to use your peppers to make "chiles rellenos" then you have to be very careful when you remove the seeds/veins, making sure you use a harp knife to open them on one side and then with your fingers remove all the seeds and as much as you can of the veins without tearing them anywhere else.


If you are going to slice your peppers (like we will be doing in our recipe below) you don't have to be so careful with them (still treat them nicely so the flesh is nice and not mushy and your slices are as "even" as possible) and you can remove the seeds/veins with your hands or a knife.



So... here is the recipe:

Pollo con Rajas Poblanas (Chicken with Poblano Pepper slices)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2  white onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 chicken bouillion cube
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) of milk (to adjust thickness of the sauce)
  • 6 Roasted, Peeled and Seeded Poblano Peppers (Please follow the instructions on the post above to roast, peel and seed the peppers) - cut in slices. (each slice should be about 1/2")
  • 2 Cooked and Shredded Chicken breasts
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

Directions:

- Melt the butter in a pretty wide skillet, I use a non-stick one, you can use a cast iron too or even a paella pan.
- Sautee the onion until it's translucent. Add the garlic and sautee with the onion for approximately 15 seconds stirring constantly (make sure it does not burn)
- Add the corn and cook in med-low heat for about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper (use less salt than you usually would because the chicken bouillion will add more salt to this dish)

- Add the cream cheese, cream and mix until it begins to form a creamy sauce (add milk to adjust thickness if necessary, just about 1/4 - 1/2 cup not more)
 - Bring to a boil and turn down the heat to low, add the chicken bouillion cube, stir so it blends with the cream. Add the poblano pepper slices and chicken. Toss it all in the pan making sure everything is covered by the cream. Cover and keep cooking for about 5 more minutes.
  
- Remove from the heat and top with the mozzarella cheese if desired.


You can have rice as a side for this dish and lettuce/tomato/pepino salad or you can have it as the perfect filling to make tacos with corn tortillas! I know it's a lot of work involved in this, but it's pretty simple to make once you get used to the whole roasting/peeling/seeding part... Besides, the flavor it's indescribable! Trust me! You have to try this!

Enjoy!!!!

Paloma.

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