I am a Southern California native and Mexican food is in my blood. Since I've been eating the paleo way, I've missed many of the dishes that I used to enjoy. One of my favorites was Enchiladas. They are so gooey and cheesy and yummy. The down side is that they are really carby and unhealthy. So needless to say, I've given them up. Another Mexican dish that I've given up is Chili Relleno. I've really only had it a couple of times but I really enjoyed it when I did. Who wouldn't love a giant chili stuffed with a huge hunk of cheese, battered and deep fried in lard? It goes down so good until you wake up one day with blocked coronary arteries and buns the size of Texas and wonder how it happened. I'm here to tell you, it was the Chili Relleno.
A couple of days ago I started to think, "What if I could take the healthy parts of both of those dishes and combine them to make something totally new?" I love Anaheim Chilies and I love chicken with sauteed onions and I love red sauce... Alright! I think I'm on to something. And so the Primal Chili Relleno was born.
As a side note, I have to say that this recipe turned out so good that my hubby and I stood over it at the stove and inhaled the entire pan. We didn't sit down, we didn't get a napkin, we even shared utensils because neither one of us wanted to break away from the heavenly flavor. I may make this again tomorrow.
What you'll need for 4 Chili Rellenos:
4 fresh Anaheim Chilies
1 rotisserie chicken from the market
1 big can enchilada sauce **Watch out** read the labels! Enchilada sauce can have really nasty ingredients. I like El Pato brand. Nothin' in there except tomatoes and seasoning.
4 slices of jalapeno pepper from the jar
a brown paper bag
Guacamole (premade is easier!)
What you do:
First you want to fire roast your Chilies. Hopefully, you have a gas flame stove. If you have electric you are going to need to buy the chilies ready to go in a can. Look for whole Anaheim Chilies. You may be able to roast your chilies under the broiler, although I have never tried that. Ok, so, get the burner going and put your chili right on top of the flame and let it sit there. You want the skin to blister and turn black. Get it good on all sides using tongs. When all the skin is blackened put the chili inside the brown bag and close the bag up tight. Listen up! Make sure that the chili is not on fire when you put it in the bag! The bag will catch fire and you will have to play fireman with that little spray thingie you have attached to your sink. Do not ask me how I know this! Follow with the remainder of the chilies. Let them sit in the bag for 10 minutes. Rip open the bag and peel off the skin on all your chilies. You should have a very soft, skinless chili now. Cut down the chili vertically and take out the seeds and veins. You may have to use a knife to cut the seed pod out. Leave the chili intact with just a slit going down the center of it like a little pocket.
Now here's the part where you should either get out your electric mixer or pray that CrossFit has been good to you and your arm strength. It's called whipping egg whites for time. Separate your egg whites and yolks. In a large bowl start whisking your egg whites until they are stiff. Whisk like your life depended on it. Those egg whites aren't going to get all fluffy by themselves! Get to it! Once they look like merangue you can gently fold in one of the egg yolks. Your mixture should still look quite fluffy and airy.
Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in a small pan and get it hot. Dip the chili in the egg "batter" and fry the chili in the olive oil on each side just until the egg is cooked and browned. It only takes a few seconds per side. Drain the chilies on paper towels.
Chop and saute your onion using the same pan that you cooked the chilies in until soft. While the onion is cooking take about 2 cups of chicken meat off the bone and chop it up. Mix the onion with the chicken in a bowl. Mince up about 4 slices of jalapeno (I use the ones in the jar already sliced) and add it to the chicken. Mix in enough enchilada sauce to coat the chicken mixture nicely. Now spoon the chicken mixture into the chilies and put them in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until everything is heated through.
To serve, pour some enchilada sauce on an empty plate and place the stuffed chili on top of the sauce. Spoon some guacamole on the side of the plate. Sprinkle with oregano. Take a bite. Cry tears of joy because nothing on this Earth should taste this good.