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Serve it with rice.You can prepare things well ahead of time: the breasts sauteed, the rajas cooked and the sauce blended, but do not put it all together until a few moments before it is to go into the oven.

Chicken Breasts with Chilies (Pechugas De Pollo Con Rajas)

This is a creamy casserole of chicken breasts and strips of chilies. It is only slightly picante.

Ingredients

6 Small chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup peanut or safflower oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 1/4 pounds chilies poblanos (or about 20 to 22 canned, peeled green chilies)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 cups Thick Sour Cream
1/4 pound cheddar cheese

Instructions

1. Remove the bones and skin from the breasts and cut each of them into 4 filets. Season them well with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and the oil together and sauteè the chicken filets for a few moments on both sides until they are lightly browned. Set them aside.
In the same fat, fry the onion gently, without browning, until it is soft.

2. Place the fresh chilies on a cooking sheet and broil until blackened on each side. Cool. Peel and clean the chilies poblanos. Set aside 3 poblanos (or 9 canned chilies). Cut the rest into rajas (strips). Add the rajas to the onions in the pan, cover, and cook over a medium flame (8 minutes for poblanos and 5 for canned chilies).
Blend the reserved chilies until smooth with the milk and salt. Add the sour cream and blend for a few seconds longer.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

3. Arrange half of the chicken filets in the dish. Cover them with half of the rajas and half of the sauce. Repeat the layers.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top and bake until the cicken filets are done and the cheese melted - it is not necessary to brown it - about 30 minutes.

6 servings

Diane Kennedy The Cuisines of Mexico