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