Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chili Suizas Bake

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Now, I haven't always felt a really positive vibe towards ground chicken. It doesn't have the satisfying texture of ground beef or turkey, and my aversion to raw chicken is so strong that I really don't cook it that often anyway. However, after reading yet another take on enchiladas suizas in Rachael's newest cookbook, I decided I'd give this bake a try. Oh my goodness, but my results were GOOOOOD! The browned chicken was tossed with a beautiful bright green sauce of tomatillos and cilantro, layered with a mixture of shredded pepper Jack and Colby Jack cheese (my substitutions for Swiss and plain Monterey Jack), topped with crumbled tortilla chips and placed in the oven until gold'n bubbly (Yes, that is a reference to Steel Magnolias). The lovely addition of delicate dollops of sour cream scattered across the top confused me at first, but as soon as I took my first decadent bite, I understood. The sour cream melted into the tomatillos, creating the perfect "suizas" sauce, akin to a really great green enchilada sauce. DELICIOUS. I'm telling you, it was restaurant quality, if Mexican restaurants marketed dishes based on ground chicken, which they usually don't. The accompanying picture belies the wonderful flavor and texture of the dish, but I felt I should include it anyway.

Side note: I would imagine the suizas bake would freeze well, and my SH and I dined on for several days! Economical AND practical!

Chili Suizas Bake, from Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book

3 large poblano peppers (I substituted pasilla peppers)
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 pounds ground chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
12 large or 16 small to medium tomatillos, peeled, rinsed, and halved
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, a handful
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons honey
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup creme fraiche (I substituted sour cream)
3 cups lightly crushed tortilla chips (whole grain tortilla chips, such as flax seed tortillas, add a wonderful texture and flavor-this is Rachael's note, but I did take it, and I think it made the dish better. I love those flax seed chips!)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (I substituted Colby Jack)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I substituted pepper Jack)

1. Heat the broiler to high. Place the poblanos under the hot broiler and char until blackened on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Leave the door of the oven cracked to allow the steam to escape. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover it lightly with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to steam until they are cool enough to handle. Leave the oven on broil.
2. While the peppers char, heat the EVOO in a high-sided ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. (I just used my regular pan, then poured into a casserole dish for baking) Add the chicken and brown lightly, 3 to 4 minutes, then stir in the onions, jalepeno and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the onions. While the mixture cooks, place the tomatillos and cilantro in a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the tomatillos into the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the chicken stock and honey, season with salt and pepper, and simmer the chili for 10 minutes.
3. When the poblano peppers have cooled, remove the seeds, chop the peppers, and stir into the chili. Remove the chili from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Spoon dollops of creme fraiche onto the chili, spacing them evenly across the pan. Cover the surface with a layer of crushed chips and top with the Swiss and Monterey Jack cheeses. Place under the broiler just until brown and bubbly, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve directly from the hot skillet, spooning the chili and topping into shallow dinner bowls.

1 comment:

Donna-FFW said...

This sounds delicious. I love poblanos. I'll have to give it a try. Picture looks yummy!