Monday, 8 December 2014

Who needs Amigos ?

As a foodie I love nothing more than going out for a meal and finding a dish that I've enjoyed that much I end up dissecting it and attempting to work out what components have made it as a whole - kind of like my very own Masterchef palette taste test !

One of those very dishes is from a Mexican restaurant - Amigos - their Chicken Poblanos is divine and the last couple of times the husband and I have been out to eat there I've ordered it and taken some serious effort to 'get' what, apart from the obvious chicken, it's made up of. So I've had a bit of a play around and this is my take on it.

This is one of my recipes where I've used a few cheats rather than making everything from scratch but I promise it delivers fully on flavour.  I originally made this to serve 3 but because a small amount is quite filling you could get away with 4 maybe even 5 people depending on the size of chicken breasts that you use. The one thing I struggled with was getting my hand on some genuine Poblanos peppers, so i stuck to the good old bell peppers. If anyone could point me in the right direction to get my hands on actual poblanos peppers I'd be forever grateful !

To (easily) serve 4-6 people you will need 

3 medium - large  chicken breasts 
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
4-5 tbsp smoked paprika
3-4 tbsp cajun seasoning
227g ready made breadcrumbs or crushed up cornflakes*
3 eggs whisked
6-8 large potatoes
1 jar of cheese b├ęchamel sauce**
3 x jar of chunky salsa***
2/3 handfuls of grated cheese
1 x squeezy bottle of sour cream***
2 spring onions
1/2 red, yellow & green bell pepper diced 
Oil for frying
Handful of fresh coriander 

  • Start by putting the breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes into a bowl or dish big enough for the chicken to be dipped in. Add the chilli flakes, smoked paprika and cajun seasoning and mix it all together 
  •  Slice each chicken breast in half length ways .. so starting at the thickest end and working your way down to the thinnest end 
  • On a  low to medium heat, add about a 1/4 a pint of oil to a large heavy based frying pan. piece of chicken at a time dip into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs . Coat the chicken piece all over, place into the frying pan and fry till golden brown.  Repeat this with all of the pieces - I normally fry about 4 pieces at a time. Fry until each side is golden brown. I found that each piece took just under 10 minutes, but again this can vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts.
  • Set the chicken aside, peel and slice your potatoes, no more than an inch thick and in the same frying pan, lightly fry the potatoes till cooked and golden brown, and drain on kitchen paper 
  • Turn on your oven to 200c, (fan assisted) while the oven is preheating, in an oven proof dish, preferably rectangular, add the potato scallops , pour in 1 of the salsa jars, and a quarter of the cheese sauce and carefully stir through. 
  • Next place the chicken pieces on top of the potatoes, spreading them out evenly. Cover each piece with a generous amount of salsa, then spoon on the cheese sauce. 
  • Sprinkle some smoked paprika over the whole of the dish, add grated cheese (as much or as little as you want) then finally sprinkle over the diced sweet peppers
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 
  • Finish the dish off by garnishing with sour cream & chopped fresh coriander & serve  

* Using cornflakes will give you a slightly crunchier coating on the chicken

**I normally go for Dolmio's white lasagne cheese sauce. You obviously can stick to the brand you would normally buy 

*** I find the Old El Paso range the most full of flavour but again you can go with whatever brand you prefer

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