Better Than Leftovers #2 – Smoked Chicken Poblanos

Yesterday, I did my first “Better Than Leftovers” post. Today, I’m doing the next one, mostly because I used the same beer can chickens to make both dishes.

better than leftovers

I’ve done stuffed poblano chiles before, which prompted me to do them again as Better Than Leftovers. Before, I used leftover brisket which worked great, but I thought the same thing might work with chicken, and this was a leftover dish my wife liked, so it had to be part of Better Than Leftovers!

Poblano chiles

This is part of why, as I mentioned yesterday, I don’t usually use a barbecue rub or lots of heavy seasoning for beer can chicken. By using something like a barbecue rub, I feel I limit the uses of the leftovers, and, with a nice, clean herb seasoning, I can add seasoning for the final dish very easily, opening up the range of leftover options.

My wife had the idea of using a taco-like seasoning for stuffed chiles. I didn’t have any, so I kind of made up my own by mixing cumin, ancho chile, chipotle chile, salt and pepper, all ground up in my Magic Bullet. (ratios were: 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp ancho powder, 1 tsp chipotle powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 1.5 tsp salt). I chopped up a breast and thigh from one of the chickens I smoked the day before, and mixed in the spices.

Ancho, cumin, pepper, salt, chipotle flakes

One thing to note is that I gave the chicken a finer chop for this than I did for chicken salad. It allows for more seasoning and the chiles hold the chicken better that way… Bigger chunks tend to fall off.

The poblanos are very easy to prep, and, right now, they’re easy to find at farmers markets. I got six of them at Findlay Market in Cincy the weekend before. I just cut them vertically in half and remove the stems and all seeds. These chiles aren’t overly hot, but it’s still important not to touch your face while handling these chiles! If you have gloves, use them, otherwise wash your hands before moving on to anything else.

Halved poblanos

I set the poblano halves on a cookie sheet and added the chicken to them. I don’t overstuff the chiles, just adding a nice covering of chicken to each. On top, I added just a bit of queso Iberico, a white, hard cheese from central Spain made from cow, sheep and goat milks. It’s a very mild cheese with a nice flavor. So not too much chicken, not too much cheese = pretty healthy chiles!

Chiles for the smoker

Bubba Keg smoking away

To smoke the chiles, I used a platesetter for a large Big Green Egg on my Bubba Keg, which fit very well, and the chiles went right on the grate above the platesetter. They took about 45 minutes at 250 degrees F. I like the chiles to be cooked, but with a bit of crunch still left in them.

45 minutes later, poblanos are done

The finished chiles get topped with a bit of sour cream, diced heirloom tomato and chopped green onion.

Stuffed Poblanos

Stuffed Poblanos 2

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.


  1. Yum! I think I’d like these leftovers too!!!

  2. Lori,

    I love poblano/ancho chiles anyway, and this is a great way to let that flavor really show through.

    I’ve got a bit of chicken still left, and I’m going to the farmers market today to see if I get inspired… Hopefully, I’ll have one more meal to show. 4 meals from 2 chickens isn’t bad (I had the legs for lunch!)

  3. Last night my husband and I went out for pizza, and I was thinking about your big green egg. I told him someday we are going to buy a big green egg. He laughed and said that he knew it was on the list. The pictures of the stuffed poblano chilis may move the big green egg higher than the college tuition on the list!

  4. Anne Marie,

    The shots here are on a Bubba Keg, very similar to a Big Green Egg, but $200 cheaper. It’s certainly a way to save a bit of that tuition money. :) Besides… the kids can pay for their own education. :)

  5. Curt, I love the idea of hitching the big green egg up and taking it camping. Not that it would ever happen, but the hitch appeals to me. I paid for my own education, it is becoming a little impossible now a days. But they all work and pay what they can.

    I’m laughing about your labor day tips. My husband was invited to help grill at my daughter’s school. He decided that he and the “grillmaster” have different views on grilling.

  6. Anne Marie,

    That’s a tough lesson to learn sometimes… when to not make suggestions. I sometimes help out at church, and I learn that it’s time then to just take a spatula, flip burgers, and smile. :)

  7. Actually I think the bubba keg has the hitch, either way it is down the road.

  8. I knew what you meant. :)

    The Bubba Keg is, in general, much easier to move around than a Big Green Egg, not just via a hitch. Its base is also a dolly with decent wheels, though I’m thinking of swapping the ones on it out with pneumatics if I can get them the same size, though the ones on it now are pretty durable.

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