Saturday, April 26, 2014

Green Influence

Since I've been living in Albuquerque, I've been introduced to the infamous green hatch chile. 

The majority of the time, I avoid eating anything with these boogers because sometimes..they can get VERY spicy. If you know me, you know that I can't handle extremely hot stuff because of my stomach issues. Once in a while, I'll attempt a small piece of it and usually end up paying the price. Well, when I picked up my Bountiful Baskets order last weekend, there was a boat load of green hatch chiles I had to address. Luckily, Kevin (our house mate) is a New Mexican and took the time to show me how to prep them considering I don't know what the hell to do with them, lol. Since we don't have a BBQ, I ended up roasting them in the oven by using the broiler. At first, he scoffed at the notion since using the oven "wouldn't work" since he swears you HAVE to use a grill...once he saw how well the broiler worked, he kinda shut his mouth. Here's how the chile's are supposed to look:

Once they were charred, you peel the skin off, take out the seeds and then freeze the chiles if you're wanting to stock up on them. I ended up freezing mine since I figured it'd be a bit till I used them. Well, I ended up packing them in my suit case 48 hours later and brought them to California due to an ER with my Dad. They joined me on the trip because when I asked him if he wanted anything from ABQ, he responded that he wanted some green chile's. Done and done. 

So, now that he's out of the hospital and back to his Dad-ly ways, I decided to make a green chile & chicken casserole for him. Although, I gave him the heads up since it was basically an experiment recipe due to the fact I've never cooked with hatch chiles. 

(Sorry for the poor quality picture. I didn't bring my Rebel with me since I rushed to California)

I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to using chicken. I know I could buy a roasted chicken all ready cooked and everything, but I prefer to bake my own chicken. Well, you'll need to bake a whole chicken in the oven for the allotted time it takes to achieve a cooked product (I don't season it or anything). Then once it's cooled down enough, I strip all the meat and put it in a large mixing bowl, add a can of green chile sauce to it (I use Herdez), mix it in really well and then let it sit overnight so it soaks into the chicken. 

Preheat the oven to 375* 
Chile soaked chicken
Corn tortilla's
Cooked hatch chile's (rough chopped)
Shredded cheese (a large bag is a safe bet depending on how cheesy you want the casserole)

Take your casserole dish and put a small amount of green chile sauce from the chicken to coat the bottom; this will help the corn tortillas from sticking to the surface. Now, you're going to layer everything like you would with lasagna. Corn tortilla's first, followed by chicken, chopped green chiles, cheese...rinse & repeat till you run out of room in your casserole dish. Pop it into the oven for 45 minutes then once it's cooked that entire time, set the oven to broil and allow the top to get crispy for about five minutes. When you pull it out of the oven, let it sit for a good five to ten minutes so it "sets", otherwise you'll have a super hot sloppy mess on your hands. 

This is a SUPER super easy recipe. The only daunting parts are when you prep the chile's (longest part) and taking the time to roast your own chicken. 

Bon appetite!