Experimental cooking time! Hmmm, chicken is always a good palette; hey, I've got some salsa and two boxes of yellow rice mix...chicken and rice, but lets spice it up a bit more...Oooo, cheese, have to have cheese on this! Brought a portion over to a friend to try, love when friends don't mind being my guinea pigs; she enjoyed the dish, I enjoyed it, I would say this experiment was a success!!! No more words, except for the recipe and let the photos do the rest of the story telling.
Poblano Chicken and Rice
12 Poblano peppers, aged to red/orange color6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Seasoning mixture for chicken: 1 Tbsp each garlic powder, onion powder; 1 tsp each salt, ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 boxes (8 oz) Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix
5 cups hot water
1 (16 oz) jar mild chunky salsa
1 (8 oz) bag shredded Mexican cheese blend
Cut off the tops of each pepper about 1/4 inch down. Carefully cut down the two end seams of the peppers, but leave 1/2 inch uncut at the bottom. Open the pepper up, careful not to split open the bottom; clean out the seeds and white pith.
Season both sides of the chicken with the seasoning mixture. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, medium-high heat, and brown the chicken on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Remove to a paper towel covered plate to drain off any excess oil.
The chicken is now cool enough to handle. Place one pepper (opened up) onto a plate; place another pepper across to make an "X". Place a chicken breast (skin side down) in the center; fold the peppers around the chicken and secure with a toothpick. Place the bundle into the baking dish, pressing down slightly into the liquid and rice; do same for remaining chicken.
Top each bundle with salsa; cover baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil; spread cheese over all; return dish to oven and bake an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes; remove toothpicks before serving.
Makes 6 servings.
Play with your food! Don't be afraid to experiment! Enjoy!