Aired September 30, 2011
6 tomatillos, peeled
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 jalapeo peppers, 1 whole and 1 seeded and finely chopped, divided
6 cloves garlic, 4 with jackets left on (skins) and 2 chopped, divided
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/3 palmful
1 handful basil leaves, plus additional for garnish
1 handful cilantro leaves, plus additional for garnish
A drizzle of honey
2 cups chicken stock
3 to 4 tablespoons crme fraiche, Mexican crema or sour cream
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil or vegetable oil
1 large or 2 medium ears of corn, kernels scraped
1 small red onion, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Juice of 1 lime
2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken, rotisserie or poached breast meat
1 cup cheddar, Monterey Jack or chihuahua cheese, shredded
Frying oil such as safflower or vegetable with omega-3
Flour, for dredging
3 eggs, beaten
Diced heirloom tomatoes, for topping
Crumbled Cotija cheese, for topping
Place an oven rack one notch above center and broil poblanos until charred evenly all over; leave oven door slightly ajar to allow steam to escape. Place charred peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool to handle. Peel then cut a slit in one side of each pepper and carefully remove the seeds.
Arrange the tomatillos, onion quarters, 1 jalapeo (leave whole for a spicy sauce or seed for milder sauce) and 4 cloves of garlic in their jackets on baking sheet. Broil to char tomatillos all over. Leave pepper, if seeded, skin-side up and turn onions once to char evenly. Let cool.
Add cooled veggies to a food processor, season with salt, pepper, cumin, basil and cilantro. Add a drizzle of honey and about 1/2 cup chicken stock. Pure until smooth and add to sauce pot. Add remaining stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes to thicken sauce and develop flavors. Turn off heat until ready to serve. Just before serving, reheat sauce then stir in crme fraiche, crema or sour cream.
In a medium saut pan, heat EVOO or vegetable oil over medium-high heat, add corn and cook to lightly brown and caramelize at edges, giving the pan a good shake now and then, 5-6 minutes. Add red onion, thyme, finely chopped jalapeo, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Toss together 2 minutes more then douse pan with lime juice. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to handle.
Combine chicken and cheese with corn. Stuff poblano peppers as full as possible, gently pressing to set filling once peppers are full. Shape them a bit, place on plate and chill 1 hour to firm up.
Set up frying station: 2 to 3 inches of frying oil heating to 350F, shallow dishes of flour, egg, panko. Remove poblanos from the fridge and coat in flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Fry to deep golden, remove and drain on cooling rack, sprinkle with salt.
Pour a ladle of sauce into a shallow dish or bowl, set fried poblanos into sauce and garnish with tomatoes and Cotija crumbles, cilantro leaves and/or torn or sliced basil.