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Chicken Chile Rellenos

We have adapted this a bit from the original recipe in the excellent cookbook, Reata: Legendary Texas Cuisine.

Chicken Chile Rellenos

  • 1 good-sized plain rotisserie chicken from your supermarket
  • 8 dried ancho chile peppers
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 roma tomato, diced
  • 6 5-inch poblano peppers
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups goat cheese
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • Reserved shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 cup Ancho Chile Sauce (You may have some left over; it's a great topping for any beef or chicken dish)
Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Remove the meat from the bones, shred it, and set aside. This is best done while the chicken is still warm, but not hot. (Discard the bones or freeze and reserve for stock.)

For the Ancho Chile Sauce

Rinse the ancho chile peppers under cold running water, making sure all the seeds are removed. Place the peppers, garlic, cumin and honey in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the water and cook over medium heat for 18 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat and add the diced tomato. Let the mixture cool thoroughly. It should be fairly thick. When thoroughly cooled, place in a food processor or blender, and purée until fairly smooth.

Strain the liquid through a mesh strainer to remove any remaining pulp or seeds, pressing down on the mixture in the strainer to get as much liquid as possible. Place the drained liquid in a saucepan and bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool thoroughly.

While the mixture is cooling, prepare the poblanos.

Roasted Poblano Peppers

Rub the 1/4 cup of oil liberally over the poblanos. Roast the peppers directly on a grill grate until they are charred, turning frequently to ensure charring on all sides. (There are several methods for doing this. You can roast them under the broiler, turning them with tongs, or over the open flame of a gas burner using tongs. The main issue is charring surface of the peppers evenly.) Place the warm roasted peppers in a large bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap for 15 or 20 minutes until they begin to "sweat."

Peel off the first layer of skin from each pepper. Slit the peppers lengthwise, remove the stems, and rinse under cold water to remove the seeds. Set aside. reserve.

Stuffing the Poblanos

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the cheeses and thoroughly mix. In another large bowl, add the diced tomatoes and shredded chicken, and thoroughly combine. Add the Ancho Chile Sauce to the chicken and tomatoes and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.

Carefully fill each pepper with about 1 cup of the chicken-tomato-chile mixture. Top each stuffed pepper with 1/2 cup of the blended cheeses. Place each stuffed pepper, cheese-side up, in a large baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese topping is melted and beginning to bubble.

Serve one or two rellenos per person. Drizzle with one to two tablespoons of crema fresca or Crème fraîche. Serve with beans and guacamole.

Prep time: 50 minutes; Cooking time: 1 hour; Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Recipe editor

Kitchen tools you'll need: 9x13 Baking Dish, Mixing Bowls, Whisk
You might also want to try our recipes for Chile Rellenos Casserole and Chilaquiles.
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