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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Creamy Chicken & Spinach w/ Roasted Poblanos

A few hours ago I woke up to the steady patter of rain on the small metal awning outside of my front door.  The temperature in the house was just cool enough to warrant the warm blanket that I couldn't help but snuggle under.  Though I could hear cartoons in the distance, the air around me was still.  Everything was still except the voices inside of me.  One was urging me to turn over, close my eyes, and go back to sleep.  The other argued for the faint smell of freshly brewed coffee sneaking in from the kitchen and the call of the book on the nightstand with a book mark a quarter of the way in.

Knowing I probably wouldn't be able to enjoy sleep much longer before pitter-patter of eager feet and little voices urging me to make breakfast appeared at my side, I opted for something in between.  Keeping my slippers off, I did my best silent tiptoe to the coffee pot before propping up the pillows and tucking myself loosely back under the a seated to the window that was being steadily pinged with fat rain drops and curled up with my book.
Happily I made it through one silent chapter before being detected. And the majority of a mug of warm, life-stirring liquid in my veins. Let the day begin.

Fortunately I made this rich, earthy melange of roasted poblanos, juicy chicken, and satisfying greens all smothered in a creamy sauce yesterday...and now all it needs is a gentle reheating before it gets enveloped in its toasty corn blanket.  And then I can find my blanket since the rain still beckons...

Creamy Chicken & Spinach w/ Roasted Poblano

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: simmer entree chicken spinach Mexican
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 2-3 Tbs. olive oil
  • ~1¼ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced ¼" thick
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ~12 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 c. chicken broth/stock
  • sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 c. crema (Mexican table cream)
Roast the poblanos directly over an open flame or under the broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, ~5-10 minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit until cool enough to handle. Rub off the blackened skin, then pull out the stem and seed pod. Briefly rinse to remove any stray seeds or bits of skin. Slice ¼" thick.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Generously salt the chicken breasts on both sides and place into hot pan in a single layer. Flip when browned on the first side and cook until golden brown on the second side, as well. This should take a total of ~10 minutes. Chicken should be cooked almost all the way through (it will finish cooking in the final step). Transfer chicken to a shallow bowl. When it's cooled down a bit, cut the chicken into chunks.

With skillet over medium heat, add the onion. There should be enough oil in the pan to lightly coat the onion. If there isn’t, then add a little more. Cook, stirring regularly, until richly browned and sweet, 8-9 minutes.
Add the garlic to the skillet and cook 1 minute, then add the broth and thyme. Raise the temperature to medium-high. Cook until the liquid is nearly gone. Add the spinach and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cream and cook until it is noticeably thicker (it’ll be a rich glaze).

Taste and season the mixture in the skillet with salt, usually ~¼ teaspoon. Stir in the chicken, let heat through for a few minutes, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Serve as a taco filling with hot tortillas. Enjoy!

adapted from Rick Bayless
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Would you like to comment?

  1. Love it...I sneak around like that in the mornings too. The more time I have to myself the better I am later in the day. I only have two of Rick's books and haven't seen this recipe yet, but it definitely looks like something I would pick out. Creamy chicken filling in a warm corn tortilla...nice and comforting!

  2. Creamy and comforting! It sounds perfect with some pasta too.

  3. Lauren SteinkuehlerApril 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    That look awesome! Great flavor combinations. And it's nice to have a taco that you don't have to worry about topping it with a bunch of other things!

  4. What a great way to start the day! This looks delicious :)

  5. That looks beautiful. What a lovely leftover lunch.

  6. He encontrado en muuuchos blogs mexicanos y casi mexicansos :D chiles poblanos, qué ricos son y cuántas diferentes receta podemos hacer verdad?
    Qué rico tu platillo y clos chiles chipotles mmm...!!! me encantan°°

  7. Marina@Picnic at MArinaApril 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    Perfect meal, I love the roasted peppers, I can smell it through the screen!

  8. This makes a perfect lunch. A lot of homes in Australia have a tin roof and I love hearing the rain fall on them. It instantly relaxes me and then I want a nap. :)

  9. That sounds so good! Bet it'd be lovely with rice too.

  10. Looks so flavourful and delicious! Would be great with anything!

  11. Oh, that would be wonderful!

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  12. This looks to die for! I might be making this as soon as tonight, I have two pounds of spinach. Would you call the heat level on the mild to moderate side?

  13. It's pretty mild. The heat of the poblanos is really toned down once added to all of the other ingredients - but fantastic flavor!

  14. From Cupcakes, With LoveApril 29, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    This looks so good. Chicken and spinach are always a great combination. Looks like a dish that would work really well with a BBQ or just generally in the summer.

    You have a great blog by the way :) Thanks for sharing the recipe and do follow back if you get a chance :)

  15. This is a comforting post - it makes me want to go back to bed. Ha! I may have to give this recipe a try - it looks comforting as well. I can just taste that creamy chicken and spinach inside a hot tortilla!

  16. Natashya Kitchen PuppiesApril 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    Those are some sexy poblanos. What a great dish for a rainy day - especially as it is already prepared the day before!

  17. Yvette MWCAdventureApril 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    This looks absolutly fabulous.

  18. The title got to me! This sounds so delicious. Rick Bayless is the best!

  19. This does look like the perfect comfort food meal for a rainy day. There is something so perfect about filling a warm tortilla with a delicious hearty mix of flavors. ;-)

  20. We've had the steady patter of rain here for what seems like weeks now, but you make it sound almost appealing! I really like the sound of this recipe with its lovely creamy texture and the gentle heat. Your Creamy Chicken & Spinach with Roasted Poblanos looks like a real treat!