Pablano Mexican Chicken Lasagna
I was watching “The Best Thing I Ever Made” on the Food Network. Marcela Valladolid raved about her Pablano Lasagna. I whipped one up and it didn’t disappoint.
However, I thought I could make a few tweaks by bumping up the corn, pablanos and adding chicken.
3-4 chicken breasts
8 pablano peppers
4 garlic cloves
1 onion (yellow or white)
3 zucchinis (med to large)
3 jalapeno peppers
6 ears of fresh corn (use 3 – 4 cups and save the rest for another recipe)
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 can Rotel 10 oz
1/2 cup chicken Broth
1 pkg “No Boil” lasagna noodles
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups fresh mozzarella (or Marcel used Oaxaca cheese)
2 tsp Ancho Chili Powder,
3 pinches of Kosher Salt
Pinch of Cayenne (optional)
1. 24hrs before cooking, marinate your trimmed chicken in your chicken stock, Rotel, squeezed half lemon, cumin, ancho chili powder and cayenne.
2. Day of cooking. Char your pablanos, jalapenos and corn on the grill, stove or in oven (broil). You want the peppers burnt/black/blistered. I also like my corn to have a nice tan too.
3. Save your marinade. Go ahead and throw your chicken on the grill (medium/hot 400 range) and get some nice marks on the them. You will saute them later so don’t cook them fully on the grill.
4. Remove peppers and put them in glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let them steam for easy skin removal. I like to keep a little on for taste.
5. Once your corn and peppers are cooled to handle. Take a knife and carefully cut of the corn kernels and put them into a bowl. Also remove the clean skin of the peppers until you have mostly the green flesh. Then filet them open and cut into strips removing all seeds and membranes.
6. Go get your chicken off the grill and set it aside. Again, we just used the grill for marks not for fully cooking the chicken.
7. Pour yourself a glass of tequila, squeeze a lime and hit it with some agave or simple syrup (which you should always have at the ready). Relax a little.
8. Two pots on the stove. First pot add 2 tsp of butter and your minced garlic on medium heat. Simmer for a minute and then add corn ( i used about 3.5 cups of corn) and diced jalapenos. Stir a little and then add the heavy cream, thyme and pinch of cayenne. Reduce heat and let the flavors meld.
9. Second pot: (this is where I could get a lecture but I am alive because heat kills bacteria). Then slice your onions and chicken very thinly and put them into the pan/ pot and let it simmer with 1bs butter. Add some marinade or a little chicken stock to keep it moist.
10. Take your corn mixture and put it into the blender (be careful it’s hot and will blow your lid off so let it vent or cool) Blend until smooth.
Now all we do is build the lasagna. Preheat oven to 350. Pour out liquid from our chicken and onions, slice zucchini into thin strips. Take a 9x 13 glass baking dish and ladle corn mixture on the bottom, then three pasta sheets to cover the bottom, then add your chicken and onions (without the marinade – we just used it to keep it moist and cook in some flavor), and now your sliced zucchini and pablanos. Repeat 2x lasagna, corn, chicken, pablanos and cheese, cover in foil.
Bake it for 45/50 mins. Turn on your broiler, remove foil and let it go for 10 mins or until cheese is brown and bubbly.
As Marcela might say…”dat ta da…”