A friend posted today's recipe on Facebook. I don't use my Pinterest Page much, so I never would have come across this otherwise.
I'm lucky. I no longer have to work two jobs to make ends meet. This means I have more time and resources, so I was able to adjust this recipe somewhat. Here's where I started:
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 4-ounce can of green chiles (the author recommends El Paso. This is not a paid endorsement)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
- 1 Cup Monterey Jack Cheese
My ingredients list ended up a bit different, but the directions are the same. I doubled the recipe because this looked good enough to want to have again).
- 6 chicken breasts
- 6 cloves of chopped garlic (feel free to roast if you have time. I roasted because it gave the cream cheese time to soften up)
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese (I'm not getting paid to endorse this either, but you can probably guess the brand)
- 2 poblanos, diced
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried cilantro (I never seem to run out of this, I think it reproduces in the herb & spice cabinet)
- Monterey Jack cheese
Since poblanos are pretty mild, I figured the chile powder and the jalapeno would kick it up a notch (thank you Emeril). The directions are easy. Note again that the cream cheese should be taken out of the fridge to soften a little while before you start or stirring will be a pain in the ass.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. If you don't have an oven thermometer, please buy one. When we got a new one, I discovered our oven was 30 degrees colder than the temperature I set it to. No wonder the scones took so long.
- In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper until well-combined. I skipped the salt & pepper. Cream cheese is pretty salty, and there was plenty of pepper in the chile powder. Stir in the chiles until evenly mixed.
- Lay the chicken breasts flat in a baking dish--I put a little olive oil on the bottom. Cover with the chile mixture. I used two rubber scrapers for this. Next, cover with Monterey Jack cheese. I confess I didn't measure the Jack, I just grated it over the baking dish until everything was covered.
- Bake (uncovered) on middle rack for 35-45 minutes (meat thermometers are your friend)
- Serve hot. The recipe recommends Spanish rice, potatoes, or greens. I went with black beans.
I jazz up canned black beans as follows:
- 1 14-ounce can of black beans
- 1 14-ounce can low-sodium black beans
- 2 green onions chopped (dark and light green parts only)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Juice of half a lime
Put all ingredients in a saucepan, stir well, simmer about 15 minutes or until hot.
I am firmly in the camp that black beans need a little acid to bring out their best flavor and I think that's why Nexx is so fond of them. More lime juice was definitely needed here. Nexx wanted more green onions. He says that about a lot of dishes that use them.
The chicken took about 45 minutes to reach 165 F. The Jack cheese was a beautiful golden brown:
The tortillas were very useful in scooping up cheese sauce that had escaped from under the crunch. I was very pleased with the recipe, though it is quite rich. I think more garlic next time and maybe a little more chile powder. I'd like a little more warmth to it.
Questions? Comments? Variations? Let me know!