I don’t know what’s wrong with restaurants these days but I am so tired of paying for bland mediocre food. Twice now we went to a Mexican restaurant where I ordered what was supposed to be authentic Mexican food… first time I ordered a Chili Relleno and got a cold burnt poblano with a burnt red sauce that cost me over $10. The second time I ordered and trio of enchiladas with various filings and sauces, what I got was a soggy bland enchilada that tasted the same no matter what type of sauce or filling I ordered.
The sad thing is both of the places came highly recommended! So either I have become a food snob or people just stopped appreciating truly good food.
So to get past my rant, I was in the mood for some good Mexican food and decided to make my version of a fried stuffed poblano. Let’s just say despite the extra work, it was much better than anything I have gotten in a Mexican restaurant in a while and I live in Arizona……….SAD!
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What you will need:
- 4 Poblano peppers
- 2 Cups red sauce (store bought or see recipe below)
- 3-4 cups chicken mixture (see below)
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Frying Oil (peanut or other high temp oil)
- Salt and Pepper
- 6 Dried Ancho peppers, stems cut (I use dried peppers because they store in the pantry for along time)
- 10 Dried Arbol peppers, stems cut
- ½ White onion chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 tbsp. vinegar
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 ½ cups of the water from rehydrating the peppers
- 1 Cooked chicken breast (grilled or baked with Mexican spices)
- ½ white onion chopped
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 can black beans with liquid
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 2 tbsp. cumin
- 8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese shredded
Heat up your grill to medium high heat. (you can substitute the grill for the broiler if needed) While you are heating up the grill lightly coat the poblano’s with EVOO and season your chicken. Once the grill is good and hot place the poblano’s and the chicken on the grill.
Caveman Tip*** You are just looking to soften the poblano peppers on the grill and give them a little char without burning them, you want to give them that grilled flavor and get the skin loose so you can remove it.
Red Sauce Prep
Caveman Tip*** I like to put my dried peppers on the grill for a few minutes before I soak them in water, gives them a little extra smokiness.
After the dried peppers are toasted you will need to soak them covered in hot water at least 20-30 minutes to re-constitute them.Place your hydrated peppers and the remainder of the red sauce ingredients into a blender or food processer and blend until smooth. Put the sauce into a small pan and simmer under medium heat.
Caveman Tip*** I wanted the sauce to reduce, that way it would concentrate those flavors give it a thicker consistency and that little bit of pop. That’s up to you, just taste it, add S&P or more vinegar to your liking, but I would recommend that you reduce it. Then just let it sit on the stove keeping it warm unit you are ready to use it.
Stuffed Poblano Prep
Once the peppers are soft and the skin starts to fall off pull them from the grill and let them cool. Continue to cook the chicken until its done and pull it off the grill. Just let it rest long enough so that you can shred it without burning your fingers.Once the poblano’s have cooled peel the skin off and then cut a small slit in the side of the pepper. Reach in and pull out the seeds.
Take your onions and mushrooms for the filling and sauté with some EVOO under medium heat; don’t forget to add a little salt and pepper. Once they are soft add the remainder of the filing ingredients and cook under medium heat until warm. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes giving the spices time to incorporate into the mixture and the chicken time to absorb some of that black bean flavor.
While your mixture is cooking get a pan heated up with your frying oil. You only need about 2 inches of oil at the bottom of the pan. If you have a candy thermometer it works best, you want to get your oil up to about 350 degrees. There are other tricks if you don’t have a thermometer using the base of a wooden spoon. Just give it a Google search and it will come up.
Stuff the poblano’s with the mixture I use cheese them chicken mixture and them cheese again. Don’t over stuff them just enough so you can still close them. Next you will want to roll them in the egg wash and then liberally coat them with the panko bread crumbs.
Now, carefully lay them in the oil and roll them so that they fry on all the edges. You will want to dry them on a paper towel and then serve immediately with your red sauce.
It’s a bit much for a weeknight recipe but definitely worth the work! This dish goes great with my Spanish Rice