Chicken Piccadillo Chile Rellenos

I will often take the time to make chiles rellenos con queso for Cinco de Mayo. This year, I took the opportunity to do something a bit different by stuffing my chiles with a chicken piccadillo, inspired by the wonderful Lindsay Naturals green olives.

Ingredients

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, small dice*
1 cup canned diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted), drained of sauce which leaves about a half cup of tomatoes. Reserve some of the sauce.
1 cup onion, fine dice
1/2 cup mild olive oil (or half extra virgin and half vegetable oil)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 half cinnamon stick
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds, lightly toasted
1/2 cup green olives
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons cilantro
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon mint
8-10 large poblano chiles (or save half to make the battered and fried version)
1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
2 (or more to taste) jalapeno chiles, seeded and diced
1/2 cup diced onion
1 large clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon or so of oil
Salt to taste

Preparation

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onions, cooking until translucent, @ 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
2. Scrape the tomato/onion mixture out of the pan into a bowl, and add more oil to the pan to cook the chicken. When the chicken is lightly browned, add the tomato/onion mixture to it. Then add the raisins, olives, capers and almonds and stir to combine, If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of the reserved tomato sauce.
3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cilantro, parsley and mint.
4. To Roast Chiles:
5. Place chiles on a baking sheet and place under the broiler. When they are charred on one side, turn them over and char them on the second side.
6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and cover with plastic wrap. The heat will cause the wrap to shrink fit the pan. Allow the chiles to steam under the wrap for about 10-15 minutes. Unwrap, and carefully scrape the charred and loosened skin from the chiles. Carefully make a slit in one side of the chile to remove the seeds. It’s important to work as gently as possible so that the chiles do not shred. If a few seeds or stubborn bits of skin remain, it’s no big deal.
7. Carefully stuff the chiles with the picadillo. If you’re not batter frying the chiles, place them open side up on a plate napped with Chile Roasted Tomato Sauce
8. Roast the tomatoes under the broiler as per directions for chiles above. You do not need to cover them with plastic wrap. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off, and over a strainer, and cut the meat of the tomato from the seeds and core, leaving the seeds and core in the strainer. Place the meat in a separate bowl. When you are done, press gently on the remains in the strainer to remove juices from the core, and add the juices to the tomato meat.
9. Add the tomatoes and juices to a food processor bowl along with the diced onion, chile and garlic. Purée until smooth but still retaining a little texture.
10. Heat the oil in a large skillet, and when the oil is sizzling hot, add the purée all at once, frying while stirring for about 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken, and turn more orangey. Season with salt to taste.
Credit: Foodista

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