You know who you are. If you are like my wife, or most people that frequent a Mexican restaurant, you typically go to your all time favorite dish, whether that be tacos, fajitas, chimichangas, or tortas. There are so many great Mexican dishes, many which pass by the average citizen. I will admit that I am one when visiting a restaurant like El Rey in Milwaukee, that I default to tacos al pastor, or a torta. This is never the case when I am cooking at home though. I tend to want to cook other authentic dishes, allowing my wife to explore the other endless possibilities of Mexican cuisine, and today was those days.
On my most recent visit to El Rey, a local supermercado and small restaurant, I decided that I would pick up some really nice looking poblano peppers. If you have never cooked with poblano peppers, they are mild peppers (however some can be hot), heart shaped, and are perfect for stuffing. You typically see these on a menu as chili rellenos, which are stuffed poblanos, coated with a batter and fried. The poblanos, to me, are like the American version of the green bell pepper. They are sturdy peppers with a waxy skin, can be used in a lot of different recipes, and in my opinion, are best roasted, and stuffed.
The night before, I slow cooked some nice organic chicken, with the idea that I would be creating some very tender chicken that could be shredded and used in a couple of different recipes throughout the weekend. My first take was the chicken and leek stuffed poblano peppers. These were so delicious that my wife, who has never had tasted a poblano pepper, ate two of them, and made all kinds of sounds, good sounds, while eating. That is always a great sign.
Lets get started.
Slow Cooked Chicken Ingredients:
- 3 boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts
- 1 large onion, cut into 3 large slices
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 serrano chili, halved, seeds and membrane removed
- 1 package of sazon
- 5 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
- 1 roasted tomato, skin removed
- 1 bay leaf
Get your slow cooker out and lay down the three rounds of onions. This will serve as a bed for your chicken breasts. Sprinkle the garlic and oregano on tbe bottom of the slow cooker, add the tomato, and bay leaf. Sprinkle the packet of sazon, salt, and pepper on both sides of the chicken breasts, and lay each one on top of the onions. Add the stock, cover, and cook on low. I cook it overnight, but you can cook it slow for 4-6 hours. I always go longer on the time.
Now time for the roasted poblanos. You have a couple of options here. You can put them on a skillet, grill, or under a broiler. The goal here is to char the skin, all around the pepper. Once it is charred on all sides, place in a sealed paper bag and let them steam for about 5 minutes. This will allow for the waxy skin to be easily removed. Pinch the skin and carefully remove all of the outer skin. Make a slit in the pepper near the top stem, all of the way down, close to the tip. Carefully remove the membrane and all of the seeds. Rinse the inside out with water, and repeat the process with however many chilis you have.
Carefully pat dry, and get ready to stuff them. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Take your cooked chicken breasts out of the slow cooker once they are fully cooked. Careful as they will just fall apart on you.
Reserve the onions and roasted tomato to be used for the stuffing.
- 1 can of black beans, cooked
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek, white part only, cleaned and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Reserved onions and tomato, chopped
- 6 slices of Muenster cheese (half on bottom, half on top)
Add the olive oil to a large skillet. Throw in your leeks and garlic, and cook until the leeks are tender. Add in the chopped, cooked onion, and cooked tomato. Mix well. Get a large bowl out and add in your shredded chicken, black beans, and the leek mixture. Mix well.
Now we are ready to go. Take a poblano by the stem, and lay it in the palm of your hand. Add a half slice of the Muenster cheese to the bottom of the pepper, then add about 2 heaping spoonfuls of the chicken mixture into the pepper. Add enough of the mixture until the pepper begins to take shape again. Top with the other half of the cheese. Lay this into a baking dish, cheese side up, and repeat the process. Cook these in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melted.
Not only do these plate nicely, but every bite has a great smokey flavor of the poblano pepper, and the chicken and leek stuffing mixture is to die for. A well rounded stuffed pepper that you will want to come back to. Allow your imagination to go wild with these. A great vegetarian option is definitely possible with these fantastic peppers. I hope you enjoy.