I'm not big on the whole 'casserole' thing, not sure why, I just don't make them much or think to do it but my boyfriend is a big fan of them so last week when I was scratching my head about what to do with two pounds of chicken thighs and a handful of fresh poblano peppers I decided to indulge his love of the casserole...yes that means I broke down and made one! Turns out it was pretty tasty, the left overs made some good work lunches too!
Zesty Poblano Chicken Bake
2Lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 Whole Head of Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds, lightly toasted
1 Fresh Pepper
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Freshly Ground Cloves
1 Tsp Ground Coriander Seeds
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 Tsp Ground Allspice
1 Tsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Sweet Onion, Halved and Thinly Sliced
3 Large Poblano Peppers, Roasted, Seeded and cut into strips
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 Cups Halved Grape Tomatoes
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar (or Cheddar/Jack Mix) Cheese
Fresh Chopped Cilantro, for garnishing
1. Trim the excess papery peel from the garlic, leaving the head intact; cut to expose the tops of the cloves.
2. In a deep pot, combine the thighs, garlic and 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, skim off any scum that rises to the top. Add the bay leaf, cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/4 allspice, salt and pepper (to taste). Cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently until the meat is tender. Allow chicken to cool in broth approximately 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Remove chicken and place in an oven safe dish (I used an 8X8 pan).
4. In a large heavy skillet, combine oil and onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes, until the onion softens, then add the roasted, seeded slices of poblano. Add vinegar 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp allspice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Mix tomatoes with pepper and onions, then add the mixture (and the juices in the skillet) on top of the chicken in the pan. Sprinkle cheese over the contents of pan, bake until cheese is bubbling.
I served this over yellow rice and garnished with fresh cilantro and it got rave reviews...easy, and pretty cheap to make!
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