Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pollo Relleno

Serves 4

This recipe was created by Jason and Alexandra when they cooked dinner for me one night when I was late coming home from a meeting. Given the food I had on hand, I had suggested they grill chicken or make chili rellenos. They combined the ideas and made this.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1-1/2 # total
4 roasted green chilies (I generally use Anaheim)
8-12 thin slices cheddar cheese (I use Cabot's Hunter)

1 egg  (I have on occasion used 1/4 c "egg product"  - 1 egg will actually do 4-6 pieces -  but I think in this case using the real egg is better.)

Bread crumbs (I use Whole Foods sun dried tomato panko*)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2) Cut a large pocket into each chicken breast.

3) Remove stems and seeds from chili.

4) Place 1 chili (See Roasted Chili ,  Alex's and my preference, or used canned and drained chili) and 2-3 slices of cheese inside the “pocket” of each chicken breast.  Fold the top of each breast over the filling and secure closure with toothpick if necessary.

5) Whisk egg  in a small bowl.

6) Coat chicken with egg and then breadcrumbs/panko and place on an oiled baking sheet.

7) Bake for approximately 30 minutes (for a medium sized breast) until the chicken is cooked through and opaque (~160 degrees F) and the panko is browned.  Serve whole, or, particularly if larger breasts are used, slice crosswise into 3/4 - 1 inch wide pieces.

Alexandra perfected the recipe and cooked this as part of an anniversary dinner for Ed and me in August ’02.  She started the dinner with Gazpacho, served the Pollo Relleno with Spanish Rice (photo at left --- not a great photo but this was a special occasion not a photo shoot) and concluded with Tortillas and Ice Cream. Awesome dinner.

If Guacamole and chips are not served as an hors d'oeuvre, a Guacamole Salad makes a great accompaniement to the chicken.

* Whole Foods "sun dried tomato panko" was replaced by "buffalo style panko", became much more expensive and was frequently not available. Two good reasons to seek an alternative.  I now use either plain breadcrumbs or panko or more often mix the breadcrumbs or panko with Salmon Rub to taste; the more rub the spicier the coating.

Reviewed 5/14/17

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