When I was a teenager, a friend’s mother turned me into a Mexican food monster! This woman not only made delicious dinners for me, but she made homemade salsa that I will never forget, nor will I ever find anything that compares. It was super spicy, just like her, but you could taste the love she put into it. This woman, incidentally, was one of the hardest working and loving women I’ve ever known. She worked tirelessly at work and it was a bit of a guilty pleasure to eat her food because she literally cooked all day when she did. But there was nothing better and with that said, she quickly turned me into a Mexican food snob. And while in general I admit to being a food snob, this is particularly true for Mexican food and specifically salsa!
So anyway, I don’t really cook Mexican food too much. Partly because it’s never going to be that good. In fact, while talking to my friend about this dinner, I may have mentioned that my Mexican food always has a “tint of white girl” in it! Nevertheless, I attempted a chili relleno Big Eater Small Body style. Which means no deep frying. But if I’m being honest, the fried part of chili relleno is not really my favorite part anyway, so I wasn’t too bummed out about the healthy conversion! What I came up with was a much healthier and equally tasty dinner that may have gotten a round of applause from even from my little salsa making mama!
2 chicken breasts
6 poblano peppers
1 can corn
1 small can green chiles
1 jalapeno, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 can Rotel
1 package Sazon
Sprinkle chicken breasts with Sazon seasoning on both sides. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat and add chicken. Let cook approximately 3-5 minutes and flip over. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Then add the can of whole tomatoes with the juice and the can of Rotel. Cook in the sauce for about 5-10 minutes covered. Then add to a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Cook for approximately 30 minutes. Time here is loose because the chicken will be cooked regardless, but you’re trying to get it where it will pull apart with forks. Meanwhile, roast the poblanos. You can do this on the grill very easily or directly on a gas stove. Either way roast them until they are well charred. Then put them in a bowl with a covered top. Let them sit 5 minutes or longer to return to room temperature. Then peel the char off them and make a slit in one side to remove the seeds. Sauté corn, jalapeno, garlic, onion and green chiles for about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat. Take the chicken out of the oven and shred. Add the chicken to the corn mixture. Then crumble the queso fresco to the mix. Add as much as you like, but remember, its BIG EATER SMALL BODY! Spoon the mixture into each pepper. Add a tsp or so of cumin to the leftover tomato sauce. Then spoon about half that sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, line the dish with the peppers and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. Everything is already cooked, you just want to heat through.
I served this with the rest of the sauce spooned over top and a cucumber, cilantro, lime and pineapple salad. This salad is super easy, just throw all those ingredients into a bowl.
What I ended up with was a super delicious labor of love. Yes, it took longer to cook than most things I blog about. But it was totally worth it! And if you’re feeding a few people, it’s really inexpensive but definitely doesn’t taste so!
I truly enjoyed the meal, although it really could have used some of that salsa!