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Gluten-Free & Wheat-Free
Poblano Peppers stuffed with Chicken and Smoked Gouda Recipe
GF Recipe Summary
Gluten-Free Poblano Peppers stuffed with Chicken and Smoked Gouda: A flavor-packed Mexican-inspired dish featuring the mild Poblano Chile with Chicken and Cheese filling
A local mexican restaurant featured a dish quite similar to this that inspired this creation. Our version is a lot less salty, lower in fat, and all around more healthy while still maintaining a lot of the flavor.
For Vegetarian version, see: Poblano Peppers stuffed with Quinoa and Smoked Gouda Recipe.
The large mild green chiles (Poblanos) used for this recipe are wonderful for stuffing thanks to their relatively thick walls. These are not hot peppers (when green like this), though you may find they have a subtle slightly-detectable warmth that can vary with each individual pepper. The flavor is a bit different than a sweet green pepper, though the poblano will not be too much of a taste surprise if you enjoy peppers in general. These beautiful large poblanos are very reasonably priced and abundantly available (depending on where you live), making this dish even more enticing.
We have tried to infuse a bit of extra Mexican inspired flavor into our dish with the introduction of some ground chipotle powder (chipotle peppers are simply a smoke-dried jalapeño) and some subtle smokiness thanks to some smoked cheese (we chose a smoked Gouda for this). The core component of the filling is shredded chicken-breast meat. The result is a feast for the senses, though not in a tongue-burning way... this is much more subtle with regards to spice and heat.
And, as a bonus, a "leftover" from the chicken preparation forms the basis for a simple-to-make chicken soup! You will have two meals ready in the time to make one.
Gluten-Free Recipe Card and Pictures
4 Large Poblano Peppers Cheese (Smoked Gouda was our choice) 3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts 4 Cups Water (to boil chicken in) Various Spices (optional, amounts to your liking): 1 Tsp++ Ground Chipotle Powder Dash Cumin Dash Curry Powder Dash Sage Dash Thyme ½ Tsp Garlic ½ Tsp Black Pepper 1 Onion (Fresh)
Begin by placing the water, chicken, spices, and onion in a pot on your stove top. Bring the water to a boil and maintain a near-boil for approximately ½ Hour (until chicken is fully cooked).
While the chicken is cooking, use the time to prepare your peppers for stuffing (by cutting a hole at the stem-end, circumscribing the stem with a knife; use the stem to pull your cutout away from the rest of the pepper and then de-seed the pepper). Next chop some small pieces of cheese that will be mixed into the shredded cooked chicken in a bit. The amount of cheese you use relative to the amount of chicken is your choice.
Once the chicken is sufficiently cooked, turn off the heat and use a utensil to move the cooked chicken to a separate bowl where you can shred it by hand (once it cools sufficiently to avoid burns). Retain the chicken-stock / water if you intend to make soup from it — this is an added bonus of this recipe, as the resulting broth that would otherwise be unused forms a great base to which vegetables (like carrots, celery, etc) can quickly be added and cooked for a nice chicken-soup (including any chicken we do not use for stuffing our peppers!). Shred the chicken once cool enough to touch comfortably. Mix in another Teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper now (if you like a bit of extra heat and smoky flavor). See picture below (I mixed the cheese into my chicken ahead of time; this had me end up with a bit of cheese in my leftovers-soup though).
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Start stuffing the shredded chicken into your cored poblanos, mixing pieces of your smoked Gouda in as you go — the amount of cheese you use relative to chicken is completely up to you. Any leftover chicken can go back into the leftover chicken stock for a soup if you choose. Once the peppers are fully stuffed, you may wish to place a thin slice of cheese over the top opening and "seal" the pepper stems back onto the pepper (optional)... I made some this way and some without the stems, and the results are essentially the same other than the presentation of the finished product.
Place your stuffed peppers into lightly-oiled cast-iron skillets (or some other oven-safe pan), spray the surface of the peppers with a bit off cooking spray (i.e., spray canola oil), and then bake for 15-25 minutes. Varying the length of time for baking will determine how crispy the Poblano chile texture remains. I prefer my green peppers to retain a little crispness, but if you prefer yours to be completely soft, bake them for the full length of time. If you prefer more of a blackened pepper effect, adjust the heat and bake-time accordingly. Since the chicken is pre-cooked, the oven time is purely for baking the pepper (and melting the cheese a bit). Remove from oven, serve, enjoy!
Below are some pictures of this gluten-free recipe in various stages. Let us begin with the washed, de-seeded peppers and our chunks of cheese...
This is the shredded-chicken mixed with some additional spice (ground chipotle powder) and the chunks of cheese that were prepared earlier. All ready for stuffing into our lovely green peppers next.
These two poblanos were just simply huge! A couple of them filled this small cast-iron pan nicely... time for them to go into the oven.
And, here is a cast-iron pan full of our lovely baked stuffed gluten-free poblano peppers with their stems no longer in place. Enjoy!