Recipe provided by Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza Restaurant in Los Angeles. Hear Lopez talk more about the ingredients and process of making chile rellenos in our story, "It's easy to fall in love with Oaxacan-style chiles rellenos." Find more of Lopez's recipes at the website Mole and More.
For the Picadillo
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
2-inch piece Mexican cinnamon stick (only the first 2 thin layers)
3 medium sized plum tomatoes, quartered
3 tomatillos, peeled, rinsed, and quartered
1 white onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups finely shredded cooked chicken breast (about 2 chicken breasts)
15 pitted green olives (1/3 cup), finely chopped
18 blanched almonds (2 tablespoons), finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
To Finish the Chiles Rellenos
12 medium Anaheim chiles or large, flexible pasilla chiles **
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 egg whites
5 egg yolks
about 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
** If you try to make this recipe with old, dried-out chiles, it won't work.
Make the picadillo: Grind the oregano, thyme, black peppercorns, cloves, and Mexican cinnamon in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder until ground to a powder; set aside.
Place the tomatoes, onions, tomatillos, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup of water into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Heat 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until very hot and shimmering. Add the blended ingredients (be careful, it may sputter). Lower heat and let it simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, olives, almonds, and raisins and stir to combine; stir in the parsley.
Simmer the chicken for 5 minutes then add the ground spices (if you ground the condiments in a mortar, we recommend you add 1/4 cup of water into the mortar in order to get all the powder out of it and into the skillet). Add the vinegar, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and stir to mix. Allow the chicken to cook until the chicken has absorbed all the juices in the skillet, about 15 minutes more. Set the picadillo aside to cool.
Finish the Chiles Rellenos: If using Anaheim chiles, heat a large skillet over high heat until hot then grill the chiles, turning occasionally, until the skin is charred and has bubbled, 15 to 20 minutes total. Place chiles in a plastic bag for 5 minutes so the skin can steam. Remove from the bag and carefully peel off the skin.
If using pasilla chiles, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot then toast the chiles on both sides, just until they become a shade lighter and a bit more flexible, about 30 seconds per side. Add the chiles to a bowl of very hot water and let soak until soft, about 20 minutes.
Carefully slit one side of the chiles (either Anaheim or pasilla) lengthwise with scissors or a sharp paring knife. Remove as many of the seeds as possible (holding the chiles under gently running water can help remove more seeds.) Pat the outside of the chiles dry, then stuff them with the picadillo (about 1/4 cup each).
Put the flour in a large bowl. Put the egg whites in another large bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer until frothy, fluffy, and they hold stiff peaks. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Heat 1 cup of the vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature in the 350-375 degree F range.
Working 1 at a time, carefully pinch the seam of the pepper together to enclose the filling. Put the chile in the bowl with the flour and turn gently to coat. Lift the chile out of the flour and brush off the excess. Put the chile in the egg batter, seam side up, and use a spoon to help you coat it thoroughly. Transfer the chile to the skillet seam-side-up and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Coat another chile as that one cooks, adding it to the skillet when it is ready, but making sure never to overcrowd the pan. Transfer the cooked chiles to a paper-towel lined pan to drain. Cook the remaining chiles in the same manner, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.
Serve hot with a side of beans, avocados and tortillas.
Recipe provided by Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza Restaurant in Los Angeles.
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