Saturday, May 24, 2014

Poblano, No Problem.

In one of my baskets, from Bountiful Baskets, I received a dozen Poblano peppers. Normally I would roast them, remove the charred skins and do whatever I wanted to afterwards; make green chile sauce, perhaps Chile Rellenos for my hubby.  Not this time however; I put them in a bowl, standing with the stem upwards, and promptly forgot about them for about two weeks.  They were in a cool, dry place and when I wandered in and found them, they had turned lovely shades of orange and red, but had not dried out.  Ruined?  Far from it; when Poblano peppers turn those lovely shades of color, they sweeten and get hotter.

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 color
6 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.


Preheat oven to 350F; spray a 4 quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Put in the rice mix from both boxes, add water and stir. 

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!
Mary Cokenour

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