Cheesy Jalapeno, Chicken and Rice Casserole

This wasn’t supposed to be a cheesy jalapeno, chicken and rice casserole recipe, this was supposed to be burrito-like stuff jalapenos recipe but I really didn’t think through the execution. Getting all the ingredients into the halved jalapenos, no matter how large they were, was a challenge so I instead aligned all the jalapenos neatly in a dish, topped with all the ingredients and voila! Cheesy Jalapeno Chicken and Rice Casserole! Here are a few step by step photos.

jalapenos-halved

I stuffed the jalapenos with the rice, beans an cotija cheese but I still had not added the chicken and as you can see I didn’t have much more room.

stuffed jalapenos

 

cotija-cheese

shredded-chicken

Once I shredded the chicken I just spread it over the stuffed jalapenos. I then spooned in the leftover sauce from the chicken so the dish wouldn’t dry out while baking.

chicken-jalapenos

When it’s done baking, serve it immediately while the cheese is still melted!

jalapeno-casserole

The casserole was a hit! My only regret was having to hollow out all the jalapenos because of the lightweights in the room! Yes, you heard that correctly and these were only jalapenos! I figured by now I would have built up their heat tolerance levels but guess I have to keep working on that. 🙂 I’ll have to plan a hot sauce tasting next time and see if I can convert a few.

You can have this cheesy jalapeno, chicken and rice casserole for game day or a week night dinner. It will go well on its own, in a tortilla wrap or as an appetizer. The peppers get tender soft with crispy chicken on top but the melted cortija and Mexican blended cheese brings it all together. If you want it spicier, don’t remove all the seeds or inner lining of pepper, just scoop out enough to get enough ingredients into each jalapeno…then top with chop up serrano peppers!  Let me know what you think if you decide to make it. Enjoy!

Cheesy Jalapeno, Chicken and Rice Casserole
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Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
Stewed Chicken
  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 chipotles peppers in adobo
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1-2 tsp Goya Adobo seasoning
Stewed Beans
  • 1 can small red beans
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Goya Adobo
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Few cilantro leaves
Remaining Ingredients
  • 1 cup of rice
  • salt
  • 8-10 large jalapenos, halved
  • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
Instructions
  1. For the chicken, in a heavy saucepan on medium heat, heat up oil. When oil is hot add the onions an cooked until translucent. Add the tomato paste, chiles, garlic and Adobo seasoning. Cook for about 1 minute while stirring.
  2. Add the chicken and let the fat cook off the chicken. Cook on one side for about 5 minutes then turn and cook the other side for about 5 minutes. Add about 1 cup of water to the saucepan and cover. Cook for about another 10 minutes but keep an eye on it to be sure the chicken doesn't completely dry out. Taste the sauce to make sure it's well seasoned and adjust with more Adobo or water to taste.
  3. While chicken is cooking, in another smaller saucepan, cook the onions in oil until translucent. Add the beans, tomato paste, oregano, Adobo, black pepper, cilantro and about ½ cup of water. Since beans are already cooked you just need to heat up enough so the flavors meld well together, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a separate small pot, salt the water for the rice and cook as per the package instructions..
  5. Once everything is done, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the rice and beans in a bowl and add the cotija cheese. Stuff each of the jalapeno peppers with the mixture and add each individual, stuffed jalapeno to the bottom of the casserole dish.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred the chicken with a fork, then top the stuffed jalapenos. Drizzle any of the remaining juices from the chicken over the chicken and jalapenos.
  7. As a final step, top the dish with the shredded cheese and bake for about 15 minutes and top of dish is crispy and cheese is melted.

 

Chorizo and Rice Stuffed Poblano – Deconstructed

This dish was kind of a mistake and thought up after my first time pepper stuffing disaster. Ok, so I exaggerate a bit, it wasn’t that bad but while trying to seed the pepper I accidentally cut off too much and it just didn’t hold the shape I wanted. Roasted peppers are so darn slippery! So after baking I just chopped it up into little pieces and mixed it all up in a bowl for a nice meal. I figured the next time I’ll just save myself some time and skip the stuffing, which is less tedious and definitely less messy.

Poblano peppers are great for stuffing because they’re large and one well stuffed pepper can be a meal in itself. It’s a very popular pepper for those who don’t like too much spice since it’s one of the mildest peppers around. I’ve added lots of spice to kick the heat level up but you can adjust to taste.

The key to this dish is making sure you roast the pepper well so all the skin falls off and the pepper is nice and tender. The pepper should be almost blackened and blistered.

To achieve this you have to rest it over a medium flame and turn on all sides with a kitchen tong. Next you’ll need to let it sweat in a sealed plastic bag so the skin can easily come off. I rub it with a paper towel and skin comes off easily.

This dish is pretty hearty since you’ll be mixing seasoned chorizo and rice with the pepper. The mixture should be very moist but not runny.

This recipe below makes about 2-3 servings but might be less if your bowls are large. I used ramekins for this recipe but you can also add everything to a large baking dish instead of individual bowls.

Chorizo, Rice and Poblano Mini-Casseroles

2 Poblano peppers, roasted
2 chorizo sausage links, casting removed and crumbled
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup guajillo red sauce (see below)
1  4 oz can tomato sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of ground pepper
2 tsp chile powder
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded monterrey jack
1 1/2 cup of rice
salted water to boil rice

1. Roast the pepper on stove top on medium to high heat until the skin on pepper blackens and blisters completely. Place peppers in a plastic bag and seal it for a few minutes. Take peppers out and rub skin off. You can wipe with a paper towel and it will come off easily. Seed pepper and cut it into 1 inch strips or smaller if you like. Set aside.

2. Cook a pot of rice, about 1 1/2 cups, and set aside. Rice should be fluffy.

3. Heat oil in saute pan on medium heat and cook onion until translucent. Add the crumbled chorizo and cook through. While cooking chorizo, add the the guajillo red sauce, tomato sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, chile powder and jalapeno. Cook for about 10-12 minutes.

4. Mix the cooked rice and chorizo in a bowl. Add the chopped roasted pepper and mix well. Fill about 2-3 ramekins bowls with the chorizo, rice and peppers mixture. Mix both cheeses together, top off each ramekin with cheese and add a dash of chile powder on top.

5. Preheat oven and set to broil. Place ramekins in broiler until cheese melts and begins to bubble. Remove and serve immediately!

Guajillo Pepper Red Sauce

You can make this sauce a few days ahead of time if you like. The flavors build after a day or two in the refrigerator and tastes so much better. The red pepper sauce gives this dish a subtle, smoky flavor.

6 Dried guajillo peppers
1/4 vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Heat dried peppers in saute pan for about 1 minute on each side. Remove stems and seed peppers (this removes bitterness of peppers). Make sure all the seeds are out.

Grind up peppers in a coffee grinder until a coarse powder. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, a good blender will work. If you use the blender, drizzle in the oil as you puree.

If you use the coffer grinder, add the ground up pepper to a blender and drizzle in oil until sauce forms. Add salt and garlic and blend again. Sauce should be bright red and thick enough to still pour.