Oaxacan Chicken in Poblano Sauce
Pechugas in Salsa de Poblano Gratinadas
This Mexican poblano chicken dish from the Oaxacan region is another one of our family’s favorite dishes, partially because it is easy to make, is absolutely delicious and makes fantastic leftovers for lunch the next day or so. The flavors combine the mild richness of the roasted poblano chiles with the smooth creaminess of the cream and cheese in typical Oaxacan style. Add into this the smoky, roasted and seasoned chicken and you’ve got a memorable dish! We usually serve this on a bed of Mexican rice with a salad on the side. It never fails to impress our guests, with most asking for the recipe or for a second serving.
You can make this ahead of time, either in stages or in full to be served when it is convenient for your schedule. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and the chicken can be roasted the day before, so all that is needed is to add the sauce to the chicken and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes or until everything is hot. This is best when roasted on the grill outside for that incomparable smoky flavor, but is very good when done entirely inside with the chicken browned in a heavy bottomed pot first.
Oaxacan Chicken in Poblano Sauce
1 lb. chicken parts cut up – can use breasts or thighs
3 – 5 large poblano chiles
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 1/2 cup half and half
1/4 lb. grated Monterey Jack cheese
Freshly ground salt and pepper
Seasoning for the chicken
1 Tbs. ground cumin
2 Tsp. ground coriander
1 Tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. dried Mexican oregano, crushed
1 Tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 Tsp. sea salt
Mix the chicken seasonings well and then sprinkle onto chicken pieces, covering moderately. Grill on a medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes a side, to cook about 1/2 way or more. Remove from grill.
Grill onion and poblano peppers for 7 – 10 minutes or until starting to soften. Remove from grill and remove the stem, seeds and membranes from the peppers, then dice into medium sized pieces. Alternately, sauté in a heavy bottomed pot for 7 -10 minutes after cutting up peppers.
Puree pepper and onion mixture in a blender with half and half. The texture can be smooth or slightly chunky, depending on your preference. Pour poblano sauce into a heavy pot, and then add chicken pieces one at a time, coating them well with the sauce.
Either bake in preheated oven at 350F for 20 – 25 minutes or until sauce is bubbly, or simmer on stovetop. Once sauce is bubbling, turn off heat and add grated cheese. Let sit for 3 – 5 minutes to melt cheese, then serve hot.
Serves 4 – 6
We did a photo essay for you to see how easy it is!
Starting with fresh Poblano peppers, we roasted them for a few minutes to soften them up, then removed the seeds, stems and membranes.
Then we sauteed them for a few minutes to mingle their flavors.
After they were ready, they went into the blender with some half and half and were pureed to a chunky texture. You can make it as smooth or chunky as you like.
The poblano sauce was added back to the pot…
Then the roasted chicken pieces were ready to be added.
After adding the chicken pieces, the sauce was simmered for about 20 minutes until it was hot and bubbly, then the Monterey Jack cheese was added and melted with the heat off.
Served on a bed of Mexican rice, it was both beautiful and delicious!
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your emails.
Thank you so much, Esther!
I just saw this recipe, I can’t wait to try it! It looks and sounds delicious.
I will come back and leave a note on how my family liked it :)
Thanks so much Maria! Please let us know what you think of it, we’ve enjoyed it for almost 2 decades.
I made this last night and it was easy and delicous. It’s going into the regular recipe repertoire.
Good to hear Mark! Glad you enjoyed it.