Chiles Relleno de Pollo Adovada y Picadillo
Chiles Stuffed with Chicken Marinated in Adobo and also stuffed with Minced Fruit and Vegetables
1. Cook 100% in the Bradley smoker, including all side dishes,
2. Use all three Bradley Iron Chef ingredients in each dish; chicken thighs, onions, pears
3. Concoct a drink which includes the three ingredients.
Outcome: Complete success! ************************* almost.
Every dish in the photo contains all three ingredients with the exception of the homemade tortilla (no ingredients) and the Dirty Margarita which contains only two of the ingredients.
All cooked ingredients were made in the Bradley with the exception of the tortillas, made on a comal, and the Poblano peppers which were blistered over an open flame on my grill. The cream and balsamic vinegar were reduced on the range.
It was a very interesting exercise and a tasty one I might add. I was very close to complete success in my goals to cook 100% in the Bradley and use all three ingredients in all of the meal's dishes.
The Stars of the Show
Supporting Cast (The Habaneros were not used but are a thank you to a Smoker we all know)
As I read the ingredient list for the first time, my mind wandered through several scenarios. Suddenly, I thought I heard a light whisper but soon it grew into a loud, unruly screaming mob. As the mob approached, I could hear each central group clearly. The chicken thighs
were insistent and rude as they moved forward with the nervous twitch of a chicken
. Three varieties of pears
were calm but pushy using their fat bellies to move forward. The Bosc pear
was haughty and spoke with a foreign accent. One variety of onion
was sweet but the other tried to make me cry. The three ingredients voiced their opinion to me loudly and shouted in a repeated chorus, “Chiles Relleno de Pollo y Picadillo, Chiles Relleno de Pollo y Picadillo” over and over again. After several sleepless nights, I finally succumbed to their demands.
Chiles Relleno means stuffed chiles, de Pollo means of Chicken and y Picadillo refers to a minced mixture of meat, vegetables and/or fruits. The traditional chile used is the dark green wide shouldered Poblano named after the Mexican village of Puebla where the pepper was first grown. It is a very mild chile. It also is my favorite chile and it complements my soups, salsas, and sauces. A common, special occasion recipe for the Relleno calls for cheese, onions, nuts, fruits and beef or pork. When combined, this mixture is called picadillo. I have substituted the beef with chicken Adovada which is chicken marinated in adobo sauce.
Most only know of the Relleno as being fried in a batter or whipped egg whites. I am a Relleno aficionado. Always searching for Relleno variants, I wandered into a little hole in the wall years ago and ordered a Relleno. The restaurant was located in a West Texas town, population a few hundred, an easy drive to the border. The taqueria was a small residential house and consisted of a dining room which used to be the living room. The old Mexican lady still lived in the rest of the house and cooked out of her personal kitchen. When the Relleno arrived at the table, it was not fried but instead baked and had spicy salsa gravy ladled over it. One taste and I have never fried another Relleno.The Bradley Relleno
is stuffed with chicken thigh
Adovada, sweated onions
in butter, roasted tomatoes, Bartlett steam poached pears, Bosc fresh pears
along with two cheeses, tequila soaked raisins, dried cranberries, fresh corn, olives, slivered almonds, juices from the rested chicken
, cloves, garlic, cumin, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. It is garnished with traditional pomegranate seeds and fresh basil. The combination is an unbelievable burst of flavor in each mouthful and each bite is unique. The Poblano pepper adds a beautiful mild but spicy flavor. The Bradley imparts a hint of smoked flavor in the dish. It is detected in the tomatoes and onions with a stronger yet mild apple smoke in the chicken.The Salsa De Tomate Asado
(roasted tomato salsa, photo on plate above) forms a colorful and flavorsome base for the Relleno. It is made from onions, steam poached pears and broth from a simmered chicken thigh
. Cream and roasted tomatoes are pureed to form this smooth sauce.A traditional Salsa Molcajete
(a mortar and pestle (Tejolote) made from volcanic rock) is made from tomatoes, onions
, garlic, jalapenos, serranos, cilantro, lime juice and sweetened with pears
. Chicken thigh broth
is used as the liquid. There is no substitute for the texture achieved in a Molcajete. This salsa tops the Relleno.This dish is served with frijoles negros
or black beans. Black beans are cooked with onions and chicken broth made from the thighs
. The chicken thigh juices
and Adovada drippings of the chicken are caught in the simmering beans to increase the flavor. In this photo the drippings are seen before being stirred. The beans are sweetened with caramelized pear puree
which replaces molasses. Guacamole
is made in the Molcajete. Continuing with the theme, it is prepared using caramelized pear puree, caramelized onions and chicken thigh broth.
A Caesar romaine salad
is coated with a homemade Caesar dressing made with caramelized onions and chicken Adovada juices
. Intermingled with the salad is fresh shredded Bosc pear
. It is topped with garlic croutons. This Mexican dish was originally created by Cesare Cardini in Tijuana, Mexico or across the border in San Diego (he had a restaurant in each city) and not named for Julius Caesar. Jalapeno popper appetizers
are stuffed with onions, Chicken Thigh Adovada and pear slices
along with cream cheese and topped with bacon. They are smoked in the Bradley while the frijoles negro are cooking and served over Salsa De Tomate Asado and Salsa Tomatillo.Scratch made Texas flour tortillas
, while not made with the star ingredients and are not cooked in the Bradley, are a necessity to Mexican cuisine. Blue corn tortillas made from scratch starting with blue corn kernels are also available. That is a another recipe story and adventure.
Choices of beverage are sun brewed tea, Negra Modela (crema de cerveza) and the signature drink, a Dirty Margarita
. The Margarita is made from top shelf tequila, contreau, sweet and sour, fresh lime juice, and olive juice. It is garnished with pimento and poached pear
stuffed olives and is shaken with pearl onions
and poached pear puree
. The onions
are added to the glass. The chicken broth
did not make the final cut in the drink during taste tests and using only a drop or two would be unethical. I thought about using the bone as a skewer or stir stick but it looked like something a cannibal might concoct. It is served in a martini glass because it has several aspects of the martini and this meal deserves a more sophisticated service.
All is quiet now. The mob has stopped screaming. They have been silenced. They have been chopped, smoked, pureed, pulverized, shredded, shaken, sauced, and so much more. They have been the stars in several dishes and a drink. Their shrill voices can no longer be heard. In fact, they have been eaten. I am going to pull my sombrero over my eyes and go to sleep. I’m tired and I feel like a Pachanga Relleno --- stuffed.
Good luck and slow smoking,
PachangaThe Recipes and Preparation Photos
The night before, wash, pick through and soak the beans covered by three inches of water. Rough chop one large onion
and four chicken thighs
. Put in a large lidded oven proof pot with half a gallon of water. Place in the Bradley lid on, turn the heat to high. Leave overnight. The next morning, strain the broth.
Close up of frijoles with chicken thigh adobada drippings. This left the frijoles with an unbelievable flavor.Frijoles Negros
1 Lb dried pinto beans or black beans
eight slices bacon cut in four pieces per slice
4 Cloves fresh minced Garlic (preferably sautéed or caramelized add 6)
pinch of Epozote or Epozote tea (optional)½ minced sweet yellow onion
1/4 bottle of dark beer2 Tablespoons pear puree
(which replaces ½ Tablespoon Molasses)
Fresh cracked pepper and sea salt to tasteChicken thigh stock
2 Hatch peppers, roasted, skinned seeded and chopped (optional)Chicken Adovada drippings
(the Adovada replaces 2 Tablespoons Ancho powder)
Strain the beans and place in ovenproof pot. Put all other ingredients in the pot except the garlic and pear puree
which are to be stirred in after they are caramelized and pureed and salt which will be added near the end of cooking to taste. Add some pepper now and more to taste later. Cover with chicken thigh stock
to ½ inch above beans. Add dark beer. Stir. Place in Bradley on bottom shelf on high temperature. Check occasionally and add more stock or beer as necessary. Cook until beans are soft.Chile Relleno de Pollo y Picadillo
(Chicken and Minced Fruit and Vegetable Stuffed
8 large fresh Poblano Chiles blistered, peeled, seeded4 pounds smoked shredded and cubed chicken thighs marinated in Adobo sauce
1 chopped sweet yellow onion sweated in butter
1 Bartlett pear steam poached
1 Bosc pear chopped
3 cloves caramelized garlic
10 pepper corns
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (more to taste)
½ teaspoon cinnamon divided
3 Tablespoons tequila soaked raisins
3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons slivered almonds
1 1/2 pounds caramelized cherry tomatoes
1 ear fresh corn kernels cut from cob
3 Tablespoons Spanish olives stuffed with pimentos chopped (optional)
8 strips Asadero or other mild melting cheese
8 strips sharp cheddar cheese or other cheese to taste
Sea salt to taste.
Coat the chicken thighs
in adobo chile sauce (recipe below). Marinate for four hours to over night. Place in Bradley directly over black beans to catch the drippings. Place three pears
in pan with ½ inch water on top shelf of Bradley. Place tomatoes, onions
with butter, garlic, and peppers (peppers for use in later recipes) between chicken and pears
. Cook chicken
to 160 degrees internal temperature using apple smoke. Shred and chop cooled meat. Cook onions
to clear and tomatoes to soft and skin loosening. Combine chicken
with other ingredients except cheese and pour any juices that have developed over mixture. Check for seasoning. Add more cumin to taste.
Monitor the Chicken and remove at 160 degrees F. Chop when cooled.
Chop the pears
poached in the Bradley.
poached in the Bradley.
Chop the raw Bosc pear
. This layers the flavor.
Mix the chopped smoked chicken thigh, raw and cooked pears, sweated onions,
almonds, corn, tequila soaked raisins, dried cranberries, olives, spices and seasonings to make the picadillo.
Blister each Poblano over an open flame. Blister quickly so as not to cook Poblano. It should remain firm and colorful.
Place in a paper sack when blistered or wrap in a moist paper towel.
After sitting for five minutes, remove the blistered skin.
Cut a slit long ways into the chile. Near the shoulder of the pepper, cut through the chile perpendicular to the first cut. Unfold the chile flesh and remove seed pod and vein.
Fill with the picadillo mixture and insert a stick of each cheese into the center mass. Place in the Bradley at high temperature until cheese melts and interior is hot, approximately 160 degrees F.Adobo Chile Sauce
12 dry New Mexico Chile pods
3 or 4 Ancho Chiles
3 cloves garlic minced or through a press
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano leaves (Mediterranean can be substituted)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed lightly toasted in butter
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon vinegar½ yellow onion finely diced and caramelized in butter
3 cups Chicken Thigh Broth
Dust off the chilies with a damp rag or wash quickly under running water. Roast in the oven or in a heavy skillet until they soften and start to turn color (3 or 4 minutes), turning to prevent scorching. Remove the stems and seeds. Place in a sauce pan with two cups of the chicken broth and the bay leaves. Gently simmer in the Bradley for 10 to 15 minutes. When cooled somewhat, place in food processor with the cooled simmering liquid and the remaining ingredients while reserving one cup of the chicken thigh stock. Puree to a smooth paste. Add some of the remaining chicken stock
as needed to produce the paste. Season with salt and pepper and pulse to mix. Run the sauce through a food mill or strainer to remove any solids. The product will be a smooth paste.
Serve over Salsa De Tomate Asado
(roasted tomato salsa)¼ cup Chicken Thigh Stock1 medium-size onion minced and sweated until clear
2 Tablespoons Steam Poached Bartlett Pear
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 bay leaves
8 large caramelized garlic cloves
2 lbs. cherry tomatoes roasted
1 Serrano Chile roasted, seeded and deveined (substitute milder jalapeno or 1 Tb Poblano as desired)
fresh ground pepper
½ cup Balsamic vinegar.
Place bay leaves in cream in a side pan. Reduce the cream to one cup. Set aside.
Roast the tomatoes, garlic, pepper and onion in the Bradley. Steam Poach the Pear in the Bradley.
Puree the tomatoes, garlic, pepper, onion and pear in a food blender or use a stick blender. Add reduced cream. Blend.
Thin with Chicken Stock
to a consistency that will heavily coat a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the Balsamic vinegar to a syrup and set aside.
To serve, spoon a large thick circle of Salsa De Tomate Asado on a plate. Drizzle reduced Balsamic vinegar across the circle. Place Chile Relleno de Pollo y Picadillo in center of circle. Garnish with chopped parsley or basil and pomegranate seeds. Serve with Salsa Molcajete (recipe below) or Salsa Cruda on the side for a topping.Salsa Molcajete 1/8 cup Chicken Thigh Stock
1/2 medium-size onion minced and sweated until clear
2 Tablespoons Steam Poached Bartlett Pear
1 pound roasted tomatoes
fresh cilantro leaves to taste (about ¼ cup)
6 cloves caramelized garlic
1 serrano chile roasted, seeded and deveined or substitute jalapeno
juice from ½ ime
sea salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
Place pear, garlic, onion
, cilantro and chile in Molcajete. Sprinkle salt on top. Grind to a paste. Add tomatoes and crush. Add lime juice and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly. Thin with chicken stock
to desired consistency.Caesar Salad1 tablespoon Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon minced carmelized onion
shredded Bosc Pear
¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice with some pulp
1 large egg (room temperature)
1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
6 oil packed anchovy filets
3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup corn oil
1-1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Pecorino Romano as a substitute)
Fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
fresh ground pepper
Food processor with anchovy filets, mustard and other ingredients ready for processing.
If you forgot to get your eggs out early, place them in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Place all ingredients, except the oil pear
and cheese, in a food processor. Pulse two or three times to grind and mix until smooth. Measure the oil into a two cup measuring container with a pour spout so they are combined. Turn processor on and add the oil in a steady stream. The mixture will thicken. Stop the processor. Add cheese. Pulse two or three times to just mix or you can fold the cheese into mixture. Refrigerate in a covered container. Just before serving, dollop over Romaine Lettuce and toss. Just coat the leaves. Add a little at a time to desired taste. Add croutons and shredded pear
and toss. Add fresh ground or cracked pepper and drizzle with lime juice if desired. Serve immediately with additional croutons and fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano on the table. Jalapeno PoppersChicken thigh Adovada
Red Bartlett Pear, skin removed, and cut into thin strips the size of the jalapeno
Jalapenos sliced in half long ways, seeded and deveined and stem removed
Cream cheese at room temperature
Bacon cut into three pieces
Old Bay Seasoning or Tony Chachere Seasoning
Sparingly sprinkle onions in the jalapeno cavity. Cover with cream cheese. Season. Push the chicken pieces into the cheese. Top with pear slice. Top with bacon. Arrange in a cast iron skillet and smoke in Bradley on high temperature until bacon is cooked through. Serve one to a plate over Salsa De Tomate Asado and Salsa Tomatillo.Guacamole MolcajeteTwo tablespoons Chicken Stock
Two Tablespoons Steam Poached Pear
Three Tablespoons Sweated Onions
two cloves roasted garlic
1 serrano chile roasted, seeded and deveined or substitute Jalapeno
fresh cilantro leaves to taste (about ¼ cup)
juice from 1/2 lime
fresh ground black pepper to taste
splash of Tequila
4 ripe Hass avocados
sea salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
chopped fresh tomatoes
Place the pear, onion
, garlic, cilantro and chile in the Mocajete.
Salt and then grind to a paste.
Add seeded and skinned avocados and gently crush. Add lime juice, ½ of the chicken stock
and tequila. Fold gently to incorporate all ingredients. Season with pepper and salt to taste and add additional chicken stock to desired consistency. Top with fresh tomatoes and Salsa Molcajete.Texas Flour Tortillas
1 cup cake flour (I use Swans Down) or substitute one cup whole wheat for a more rustic tortilla
1 cup All Purpose Flour (I use King Arthur) or use two cups if cake flour is unavailable
White Lily or Martha White flours are better than using all King Arthur
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 Tablespoon homemade lard or bacon drippings or substitute Canola oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (not margarine)
¾ cup warm milk
Mix all of the dry ingredients together with a whisk or fork a large bowl. Melt the butter and lard in the warm milk on the stove top or in the microwave. Make a well in the flour and slowly stream in the oil and milk while stirring the flour to incorporate. When a ball forms and stirring becomes hard start using your hands to role the ball in a circle. Do not add all of the liquid at this time. Knead the dough for a less than a minute. Add more liquid until a sticky ball is formed, kneading to incorporate but knead for less than two minutes to minimize the gluten development. When you have a very sticky, almost unmanageable ball, cover with a moist towel for at least 20 minutes to rest. Throw a little bench flour onto the ball to make it easy to handle forming a smooth ball.
Squeeze a little of the dough between the index finger and the thumb and pinch off a ball a little smaller than a golf ball – about the size of a ping pong ball. Add a little flour as needed for handling. You should get ten to twelve balls or testales. Place each back in the bowl and cover with a wet towel for at least 20 minutes. We are trying to handle the dough as little as possible to make a tortilla that is not tough and chewy due to gluten development. The two resting periods give the gluten a chance to relax.
Roll the balls out (using a traditional pin about 1 ¼ inches by 14 inches that is not tapered) to a 7 to 6 ½ inch circle or par bake in an electric tortilladora press for about three seconds, rotate 180 degrees, press for 2 or three more seconds to make a larger tortilla and then cook on a comal on medium heat for about 30 seconds, flip for anther 30 seconds.
The tortilla should puff slightly. Flip again for 30 seconds. The tortilla should fluff into a ball and have tan flecks on both sides. Lightly patting with a spatula will help the tortilla to puff but don’t smash or try to flatten with the spatula. Adjust heat to achieve the above action.Drinks
Sun brewed tea
Negra Modela Cervaza
Dirty MargaritaRicardo Dos Dirty Margarita
. This recipe comes form my son who is named for me and it is modified to include the Iron Chef ingredients. After twenty years of education and several degrees; one in Finance, a Masters in Accounting and a law degree from Chicago Law, he is finally finished with school. If he didn’t learn anything else, this drink proves he received something for his time. This is actually has some aspects of a martini but try it and you will be well pleased. 1 teaspoon roasted pear puree
2 green olives stuffed with pimentos and pear2 pickled pearl onions
1 shot tequila (Sauza Hornitos or equal)
1 shot orange liqueur (Patron Citronge, contreau, triple sec, etc)
½ shot fresh squeezed lime juice
½ shot sweet & sour
1 teaspoon green olive juice
Sprinkle a little Kosher salt on a flat plate. Slit a wedge of lime with a knife. Place the slit on a Margarita glass rim and wet the rim of the glass with the lime juice. Invert the glass and rotate on the salt until coated – usually one fourth to half the rim is enough. Pour the other ingredients into a shaker except olives. Shake together, with ice, and strain into the glass with the kosher-salted rim. Add olives and onions
Good luck to all and savor the experience. Life is not the destination, it is the road to it.