I had chicken in a poblano chile sauce for the first time in the charming mountain town of Cuetzalan, Puebla. It was so delicious I was surprised I hadn't had it before. When I looked for recipes and couldn't find one, I was told by my Mexican friends that it was so simple that no one bothers to write it down. If you are a poblano chile lover, this is the sauce for you.
Recipe courtesy of Shelley Wiseman
Tacos with Chicken in Poblano Chile Sauce
Makes 5 cups (15 to 18 tacos; serves 5 to 6)
Makes 5 cups (15 to 18 tacos; serves 5 to 6)


For the sauce:
  • 1 pound fresh poblano chiles (4 to 8)
  • 3/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
For the chicken:
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Accompaniments: Warm corn tortillas, grated Monterey Jack cheese or Roasted Corn Salsa (recipe follows).
Roasted Corn Salsa:
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


For the chicken:

Make the sauce: 

Char the chiles directly on the flames of a gas stovetop with the heat at medium-high (you can do this directly on electric burners as well), turning them with tongs as they blacken until they are blackened all over, 6 to 8 minutes.

Transfer the chiles to a bowl and let stand, covered with a plate or plastic wrap, to loosen the skins, at least 15 minutes. Peel the chiles, then slit them open and remove and discard the seeds, seed pod, and veins. Coarsely chop the chiles. 

Cook the onion and garlic in the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the poblanos and the salt and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the chicken stock or broth and blend until smooth.

Cook the chicken:

Put the chicken in a large bowl and toss with the salt.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add the chicken and saute, stirring, until the chicken is just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. 

Stir the sauce into the chicken and heat through, about 3 minutes. 

Make tacos with the accompaniments. 

Photograph by Romulo Yanes

Roasted Corn Salsa:

Bring an inch of water to a boil in a wide pot and add the corn. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the water.

Heat a flat griddle or a grill until hot and roast the corn, turning on all sides, until many of the kernels are browned, 6 to 8 minutes total.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cob and mix with the remaining ingredients in a bowl.

Cook's Note

The salsa keeps chilled for 2 days.

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