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Here’s a truly unique dish–I know because I invented it. I read an article in Fine Cooking on stuffed chicken cutlets. It sounded good, so we tried it. The dish had potential, but the stuffings offered in the article just didn’t have much pizazz. As Emeril would say, we needed to kick things up a notch. For some reason, I got to thinking about the Chiles Relleno I used to get at a restaurant called La Bodega in my home town of Midland, Texas. That dish was legendary, because it was a sweet preparation, rather than the fiery combination you see most places. The chiles were covered in sour cream with nuts and raisins. I later discovered this too is a classic way to prepare the dish in the Puebla region of Mexico, where it’s called Chiles En Nogada. I call them “Inside-Out Chiles Relleno En Nogada” because instead of stuffing the chiles with meat, you stuff the meat with chiles.

The sauce is interesting, and comes out very similar to a sweet cinammony version of what we have in Cozumel, Mexico that’s called “crema”.

Boy did it turn out great! The sweet creamy sauce and cheese inside the chicken perfectly complement the fire of the chiles, and make everyone happy, happy, happy!

Ingredients

Chicken Breasts
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

Filling
4 poblano chiles, roasted, seeded, and deveined
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, grated
4 ounces Muenster cheese, grated

Sauce
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup yellow raisins
½ cup feta
½ cup sour cream
½ cup half and half
¼ cup cream sherry
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinammon

Preparation

Roast and peel the peppers. You know the drill: char the flesh black over an open flame (gas burner or grill), pop them into a bag to make steam, and then after maybe 10 minutes take a knife and scrape the charred skin off. Get rid of the seeds and the veins while you’re at it, and cut the flesh down to a size that is easy to stuff into the breasts.

Cut the pocket for the filling on the thicker side of each chicken breast using a sharp knife. Cut to within about 1/2 inch of the ends.

Stuff each breast with 1 pablano chili skin and ¼ of the cheese. Season on both sides with Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs each in a wide shallow dish. Dredge the chicken breasts through each one in turn. Set them on a plate and let them rest at least 5 minutes in the refrigerator so the breading will set. This is a good time to make one of the other dishes of the meal.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet until it is very hot over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, cook two of the breasts at a time until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the breasts to a baking sheet when done.

Frying the cutlets prior to baking…

Bake the breasts in a 350 degree F oven until done, about 15 minutes.

While the breasts are baking, prepare the sauce. Blend the sour cream, half and half, sherry, cinnamon, sugar and salt until smooth. Whisk in the feta crumbles. This sauce will approximate a sweet Mexican crema.

When the breasts come out of the oven, spoon the sauce over them. Garnish almonds and raisins.