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Chicken poblano is a creamy rice dish that’s wonderful on its own or tucked into fresh tortillas. Roasted poblanos add depth of flavor and just enough heat.
Quick weeknight meals are the backbone of what I make each week, and this creamy poblano chicken is one of my favorite dishes.
Made with diced chicken, roasted poblano peppers, and rice, the dish is similar to a risotto but needs less hands-on time.
We like to eat it as a one-bowl meal, but you can pair it with your favorite veggies, or serve it with hot tortillas.
This is a great recipe for trying poblano peppers. They’re not too hot, so even those new to spicy foods can enjoy it.
Why you’ll love this recipe
I love how wonderfully creamy this dish is without any cheese. Here are a few other reasons to try poblano chicken.
Economical – Most of this recipe is made using pantry ingredients. I use chicken thighs for this recipe, which are less costly than chicken breast.
Quick and Easy – Chicken poblano is made by sauteing and simmering the ingredient. If you roast the poblano peppers in advance, it’s ready in about 30 minutes.
Customizable – Swap in leftover diced or shredded chicken to prepare this dish even faster, or try it without chicken. You can lower or increase the spices to your tastes. You can even add other vegetables, such as corn or diced carrots.
How to roast poblano peppers
Before getting the rest of this recipe ready, you’ll need to roast some poblano peppers.
You can do this a day or two in advance and store the chopped peppers in the refrigerator until ready to use. I like to roast vegetables on the weekend to have ready for quick weeknight meals.
To roast the peppers, set your oven to 400°F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange poblano peppers on top.
Roast the peppers for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through, until the skins are soft and blackened.
Place the hot peppers into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The steam that is created will help the skins loosen from the peppers.
Let rest until they are cool enough to handle. Then, carefully peel off the skins. Open the peppers to lay flat and remove the stems, stringy insides, and seeds.
Stack the roasted poblano peppers and dice them into small pieces. Store in the refrigerator for later or set aside to use for this recipe.
If you can’t find poblano peppers or prefer to skip roasting, you can also swap in a large can of roasted green chiles.
How to make chicken poblano
In a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil and chopped onion.
Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds more, just until fragrant.
Add the diced chicken and increase heat to medium high. Saute for 5-8 minutes to brown chicken.
Mix all of the seasonings together in a small bowl, then sprinkle over the chicken. Stir well to coat, then add rice and stir again.
Cook for about 5 minutes to lightly toast the rice. This helps the rice cook in the liquid later and give the final dish a more creamy texture.
Add a small amount of the broth and stir, scraping up any stuck bits on the bottom of the pan.
Then, pour in the remaining broth, heavy cream, and chopped roasted poblano peppers.
Let it come to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.
Creamy chicken poblano is delicious served as-is, but you can add your favorite toppings.
I like to squeeze fresh lime juice over mine. It’s a great addition with the roasted poblano pepper.
Give this creamy poblano chicken a try the next time you’re looking for a quick, zesty dinner!
- 3 to 4 poblano peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup white rice, uncooked
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
To roast the peppers
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange peppers on top. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through, until peppers are soft and skins are blackened.
- Place peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool until easily handled. Then, peel off skins and discard. Slice open, lay flat, and remove stems and seeds. Stack peppers and dice.
To make the rice dish
- Set a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more, until fragrant.
- Add diced chicken and cook for 5-8 minutes.
- Combine spices in a small bowl and sprinkle over chicken. Stir well to coat, then add rice and stir again. Cook 5 minutes, until rice is gently toasted.
- Stir in a small amount of broth, scraping bottom of pot to release any stuck bits. Then stir in remaining broth, cream, and poblano peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender.