August 30, 2010

poblanos stuffed with cheddar and chicken

Good Lord, these are good. I recommend making them on a weekend for your first go-'round, because the first attempt can be a bit labor intensive (can take about an hour and a half). We got started a little to late the first time we tried them, and ended up having one of those meals where you're so tired by the time you eat that you almost forget you were hungry.  Completely worth it, and I have told myself that the next time I make them I will remember to cook the rice first, which should save me some time! Eeeeh...

We served them with Eating Well's Corn & Basil Cakes (a savory pancake). These are great too!

poblanos stuffed with cheddar and chicken

4 large poblano chiles
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium white onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano (I used fresh, but remember dried has a stronger flavor per volume)
1 tsp. ground cumin
Generous pinch ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used chicken breast, the recipe calls for 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

Cook rice

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 (not all the way through to both sides, only opening one side to stuff) 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. Turn the chiles inside out, flick out any remaining seeds, and turn right side out. 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. The peppers will probably tear, but who're not cooking for the president.  If you are cooking for the president, take extra care.

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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