I am a huge fan of Mexican food, although I’m far from being Mexican and therefore feel like I can’t claim to cook anything even close to authentic Mexican. Doesn’t mean I can’t try though, and lately I’ve been on a Mexican spice kick. My enchiladas were one amazing outcome of this phase, and recently, I encountered some gorgeous poblano peppers at the store that I just couldn’t walk by. This is funny because I hate bell peppers more than anything (except for mushrooms) so I can’t figure out why I’m so obsessed with hot peppers lately.
I brought the peppers home and originally was going to make them with shrimp. The shrimp idea became chicken when I decided that I didn’t want to experiment with expensive wild crustaceans. It didn’t matter, because I ended up with a chicken poblano dish that was out of this world. Usually I steer away from boneless skinless chicken breasts because I find them boring and dry, but I happened to have some and that’s what I used for this recipe. You could make this dish with any chicken pieces – bone in, skin on, whatever – but just be aware that most any chicken pieces with bones will have a longer cooking time.
The Critic was practically jumping for joy, he was so happy with this yummy recipe. Score!
The recipe is easy and fast. When you’ve got the blistering of the peppers just right, the rest just falls into place.
4 fresh poblano peppers
4 canned chipotle chiles
1 large can of tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 bunch of cilantro, washed and trimmed (around 1 cup)
1 cup chicken broth
Juice of ½ lime
1/2t ancho chile powder
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Flour or masa (corn flour) to dredge
Salt and pepper to taste
Get the peppers done first:
Holding the poblanos over a gas flame or laying them on a hot bbq, char the skin of each pepper until it blackens and blisters.
The above pepper is far from being done, but this is how I blistered them. Yes, I know my stove is filthy. Don’t judge.
When the skin is blistered and pepper is very hot, place each pepper into a paper bag or airtight container for 15-20 minutes.
Remove peppers from the container and remove as much of the skin as you can, as well as the seeds and stem.
Throw the peeled, seeded peppers along with the chipotle chiles, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, chicken broth (no need to heat it), lime juice, and ancho chile powder into a food processor. Process until mostly smooth and set aside.
Moisten each chicken breast under a running tap (you might not need to do this if the chicken is already moist and the flour is sticking to it well) and dredge piece in flour or masa.
Using heavy frying pan over high heat, melt the butter and add the chicken to the hot pan.
Brown the chicken well on each side.
Turn the heat down to medium and pour the sauce over the chicken. Cook until the chicken is done, around 20 more minutes.
Serve with avocado, tortillas, cotija cheese, more cilantro, salt and pepper, and my black beans. Oh la la! I mean, AY CARAMBA!