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Stuffed Poblanos with Chicken and Verde Sauce

Are you a fellow west coaster? I'm so sorry! It's been quite a week around here between fires and hazardous smoke conditions. Yikes! To my fellow northwesterners - stay strong, friends. And, to all you down there in California, stay strong, too.


To say that cooking has been the last thing on my agenda is an understatement. Our entire county was placed under some kind of evacuation order and as soon as the town next to us got upgraded to Level 2, we just started packing up photos and family mementos in the event that we got also upgraded. After a loooooong weekend of watching the news, our part of the county was thankfully downgraded to NO evacuation. AND, all neighboring towns were downgraded, too. Some Level 3 evacuees were actually sent home. Hallelujah! Now, where's all that damn rain they keep talking about?!


Before I get into this recipe, two more things: first, major shout-out to all the hard working firefighters. Seriously, the west coast is literally on fire from the Canadian border to the Mexican border and these guys and gals are working their butts off to keep us safe. So, THANK YOU. Secondly, to everyone who is still evacuated - we're here for you. Much love to you all.

Alright, these stuffed poblanos were inspired by my friend Marissa. Hey there, Marissa! *wave*


She posted her creation a couple of months ago and it's been on my mind ever since. Well, my peppers - yes! mine! I grew them! - were finally big enough to work with so...here we are.

Stuffed with chicken, two kinds of cheese and loads of herbs and spices, these poblanos are seriously so. stinking. good. Just the right amount of heat and loaded with flavor. Perfect end of summer meal, guys.


And, that verde enchilada sauce - also made entirely with my self grown produce, except for the onion - is delicious! Don't feel like making enchilada sauce? No sweat! Every grocery store sells a green variety.

Yes, there are few steps to this recipe, but trust me, it's totally worth it! And it's actually pretty dang easy, too!

Enjoy and stay safe, everyone!

Stuffed Poblanos with Chicken and Verde Enchilada Sauce

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Servings: 5-6


INGREDIENTS:


Stuffed Poblanos

5-6 medium-large poblanos

1-1.5lbs chicken breast tenders

2 tsp ground chile de arbol

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp fresh oregano, minced

1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper

1.5 tsp salt, separated

1.5 tsp black pepper, separated

1 cup pepper jack cheese, grated + more for garnish

1 cup queso de fresco, grated + more for garnish

1 cup spinach, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

olive oil


Verde Enchilada Sauce

1.5lb tomatillos, husks removed and washed, halved

2 poblano peppers

1.5 cups chicken stock

1/2 sweet onion, diced thick

2 jalapenos

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

1 Tbsp lime juice

3 garlic cloves, minced

salt + pepper


Garnish with cotija cheese, cotija cheese, minced cilantro, diced avocado and pickled red onions


Serve with: Green Pepper Rice or Spanish-style cauliflower pearls


INSTRUCTIONS:


To make the Verde Enchilada Sauce - feel free to buy at the store if you'd prefer!

  1. Position a rack at the top of the oven and turn the broiler on to HIGH.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place halved tomatillos, whole poblano peppers, diced onion and whole jalapenos on it. When oven is hot, place on top rack and broil for 7-8 minutes, making sure to turn the peppers and tomatillos every couple of minutes - you want everything to get a nice char. Keep in mind that every oven is different, so be sure to keep a watchful eye on your veggies while they cook. It may take less time in your oven - or more time!

  3. When veggies are done cooking, remove from oven and place a foil tent over time to steam everything for about 10 minutes.

  4. Remove stems from peppers but retain the seeds.

  5. Place tomatillos, poblanos, jalapenos, onion into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add cilantro lime juice, garlic and chicken stock and blend again. Taste. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Transfer mixture to a pan and bring to a rolling simmer over the stove. You want to reduce the liquid until it's thickened slightly, about 5-7 minutes.

  7. Remove from heat and allow it to cool at room temperature before transferring to a food storage container and placing it in the fridge. We'll use this to coat the bottom of the cooking pan AND mix into the stuffing mixture.

To make the Poblano Stuffed Peppers:

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400-degrees.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside until ready to use.

  3. While the oven preheats, prepare the chicken.

  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine, chile del arbol, cumin, paprika, brown sugar, ground chipotle, oregano, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Whisk until full combined.

  5. Spread chicken tenders out onto parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly coat the chicken with olive oil, on both sides. Sprinkle the seasoning mix onto each chicken tender, both sides, and rub in so that everything is well incorporated and seasoned.

  6. Cook chicken for about 15-20 minutes, or until it's cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

  7. While chicken cools, let's prep the peppers!

  8. Position a rack at the top of the oven and turn the broiler on to HIGH. The oven shouldn't take long to heat up as you were just cooking at a high temperature.

  9. Spread peppers out onto it a bare cookie sheet.

  10. Place on the top rack in the oven and cook until charred on all sides, making sure to turn halfway through cooking time. I should take 4-5 minutes to cook in total. Again, all ovens are different, so just make sure to watch them.

  11. When pepper are done cooking, remove from oven, place a foil tent over top and allow them to steam for 10-15 minutes.

  12. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400-degrees.

  13. When chicken has cooled slightly, chop up and try to mince as best you can. I have one of these food choppers from Pampered Chef - the best! - and it works great to get that chicken into small pieces. Remember, we're going to stuff peppers, so you don't want large chunks!

  14. Place minced/chopped chicken in medium size mixing bowl, add both cheeses, chopped spinach, garlic 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 cup of verde enchilada sauce. Stir to combine thoroughly. Taste your mixture and adjust seasonings to your liking. The seasoned chicken really helps add in all those flavors so additional seasoning may not be necessary.

  15. Now, the peppers. Stuffing roasted poblanos can be tricky - throw away those fears! You can do it!

  16. The peppers should be flat at this point. On the widest side of the pepper, carefully slice each pepper from the base of the stem to the bottom tip. Using a knife gently open the pepper and remove as much of the seeds and membrane as you can. If you have some seeds left over, no worries - poblanos aren't spicy and a couple of seeds never hurt anyone.

  17. Once you have the seeds removed - or most of them - gently spoon in the chicken mixture. You really want to stuff these peppers. You'll notice in my photos that I didn't close up the peppers. Repeat with each pepper.

  18. To a large baking dish, pour 1-2 cups of the enchilada sauce on the bottom and spread evenly. Place peppers over top of sauce. Drizzle some more sauce over each pepper, top with a good size sprinkle of queso fresco and pepper jack cheese.

  19. Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes at 400-degrees, or until cheese has melted and is starting to look golden brown.

  20. Remove from oven and, top with cotija cheese, additional cilantro, diced avocado and pickled red onions!

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