I have dinner in the oven as we speak, and in about 40 minutes, we’ll get to sample it and see what we think of it. In the meantime, since I’m confident of what I’m doing and its success…I’m going to share the recipe I’ve created.
I do that all the time. I walk through the grocery store, see something (usually on sale) and decide to combine it in a certain way…a way I’ve never done it before. In this case, it was chicken breasts (remember yesterday’s lament about that experience?)
I had chicken but face it, everything tastes like chicken, right? I wanted something easy too. So the produce department disappointed me at Walmart, but then it also inspired me.
For a change, their poblano peppers looked good–firm, plump, and meaty. We bought two. For those who have never tried poblano peppers (or chilies) they are far meatier than “slim jim” or “california” chilies. They are fairly close to old fashioned bell peppers, with just a hint (usually) of heat, making them nice for a wide variety of recipes, whether Italian, Hungarian, Cajun, Southwestern, Mexican…or whatever. I use far more poblanos than bell peppers, partly because green bell peppers give me indigestion (poblanos don’t) and partly because this year, bell pepper prices have been very high.
I chose two moderately small boneless chicken breasts for the project, along with two average-to-large poblanos. This recipe is designed for two servings, as each “packet” makes a single serving. For more servings, just make more packets! This is also a great way to prepare chicken when camping…just double wrap with heavy duty foil and place the packet in ash covered coals, cover with another layer of ash, and more coals…and let bake in the ashes for about 30-45 minutes. Don’t overdo the coals or you’ll have a charred dinner though!
Cook’s Note: Using a whole breast makes for a very large serving, with the pepper and onion accompanying it. Cutting each breast in half lengthwise will make a smaller (and easier to package) serving that also helps stretch the budget a bit. Adjust the cooking time for the smaller portion to about 40 minutes. Also, to serve the chicken stuffed pepper, there will be a LOT of broth in each package, so unfolding it into a bowl is advisable–that broth is DELICIOUS!
These packets could also be made up ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for cooking later that day. They also could be frozen uncooked, then cooked later too, as both onions and peppers can be frozen without blanching. Frozen, they would also travel well for a camping trip, extending their cooler life before being cooked.
Poblano peppers stuffed with chicken breasts
(for each serving)
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (half lengthwise for smaller servings)
- 1 medium to large poblano pepper
- 1-2 slices of onion (I used red onion)
- hickory smoke flavor
- Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
- Ground Cumin
- Olive oil
- 1 slice Swiss or feta cheese
Along one of the vertical grooves in the pepper, split with a sharp knife just through the top. Cut around the stem carefully. Split the pepper open (it normally will split into 3 pieces, hinged by the tough skin.) Remove the stem and seeds and discard them.
Place the pepper on a large square of aluminum foil. Sprinkle the pepper’s interior with Greek seasoning, oregano, cumin, and rosemary. Lay the chicken breast into the pepper, then sprinkle the top of the breast with the Greek seasoning, oregano, cumin and rosemary. Fold the sides of the pepper up to enclose the breast as much as possible. Top with onion slices. Drizzle the top of the onion slices with about 1 tsp. smoke flavoring and 1 tsp. of olive oil.
Fold the top edges of the foil lengthwise to the pepper, then fold the ends together, creating a tight seal to hold in the juices from the contents. Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 60 minutes or until chicken is done. Top with a slice of Swiss cheese or feta cheese, and serve with roasted potatoes or stuffing.