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Spicy Chicken Rellenos With Tequila Lime Sauce

  • Yield: 4 first-course servings


  • 1 cup (1/2 pound) boned, skinned, and diced chicken breast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Emerilís Southwest Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated jalapeno-flavored Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup Tequila Lime Sauce
  • 4 medium-large poblano peppers with their stems, roasted and peeled, slit up one side and seeded
  • 6 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 cilantro sprigs


  • Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon Southwest Seasoning.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add the shallots, garlic, and cilantro and sautÈ for 1 minute. Stir in the cream and the cheese, stir well, and turn off the heat. Stir in the bread crumbs, turn the mixture into a bowl, and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
  • Combine the masa harina, 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon Southwest Seasoning in a bowl. Fold in the egg whites and add the milk 1/4 at a time, mixing thoroughly between additions, until all of the milk is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. In another bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup flour with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon Southwest Seasoning.
  • Prepare the Tequila Lime Sauce and keep warm.
  • Start heating the vegetable oil in a large pot. Spoon a generous 1/4 cup of the filling into each pepper through the slit in its side. Dip each filled pepper in the batter, then dredge in the seasoned flour. When the oil is very hot (about 375?F)óa bit of batter dropped in the oil should fry quicklyófry the rellenos until golden brown, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  • To serve, spoon 3 tablespoons of Tequila Lime Sauce onto each of 4 dinner plates. Top each pool of sauce with a relleno and garnish with a cilantro sprig.
  • Note: Masa harina is flour made from corn that has been cooked and soaked in lime water. Traditionally used for corn tortillas, it is available in Spanish markets and supermarkets. If you canít get fresh poblanos, substitute New Mexican Green, Cubanelles, or Anaheim chile peppers.