I saw this recipe, as you might have guessed, on Rachael Ray. I originally saved it for my husband because he loves peppers and spicy food. Well, it actually wasn’t that spicy – I was totally able to tolerate the heat level. We both absolutely loved this and will definitely be making it again. I mean, this sauce was like… plate licking good. The roasted peppers, combined with the cilantro, and then made all creamy with the sour cream…Mmmmm.
I changed up the recipe a little bit by roasting the poblano peppers before making them into the sauce. I think that roasted quality added a great depth of flavor with just a little bit of charred-ness. I also used Monterey Jack cheese instead of Manchego because I already had that in the fridge. Finally, I used lite sour cream instead of the heavy cream or Mexican crema she calls for. It’s a lot more calorie-friendly than heavy cream and more wallet-friendly than the crema. And it worked beautifully!
This makes quite a bit of sauce, really almost enough to make the chicken twice. I even used some of the leftover sauce inside grilled cheese. Holy cow! Possibly the best grilled cheese ever! I wonder what else I could do with this sauce.
Cheesy Chicken in Poblano Sauce
Adapted from Rachael Ray
- 3 medium poblano peppers
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- A small handful cilantro leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup lite sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thigh and/or breast (cut in half to be roughly the same size as thighs)
- 1 1/2-2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 scallions, thinly chopped, for garnish
Roast peppers under broiler with oven door slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Roast peppers a couple of minutes on each side until charred. How long it takes will depend on how hot your broiler is – just keep an eye on them. Place the charred peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool to handle then peel and seed.
Preheat oven to 375.
Place peppers, stock, onions, garlic, cilantro, and salt and pepper in the food processor and purée until smooth. In a saucepot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in flour; add milk, and raise heat a bit. Once sauce starts to bubble, it will thicken. At that point stir in the sour cream. Add poblano purée and simmer about 20-25 minutes.
Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and brown 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to casserole dish, spread poblano sauce over the top and cover with cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes, depending on size of chicken pieces – it should be brown and bubbly on top. Top with a bit more chopped cilantro and the scallions.