Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I’m going to suggest that this year you don’t make any reservations. Instead, how about a super decadent, romantic dinner for two at home? Sure, it can be fun and exciting to get dressed up and hit the town, but doesn’t it sound even better to cozy up on the sofa, perhaps by a warm fire, without the crowds and the hustle and bustle? And if you ask me, there’s no better way to express your love, than through food.
This main course, Chorizo and Queso Chicken Roulade with Roasted Poblano Crema, is sure please your Valentine. Imagine juicy, tender chicken, wrapped around spiced chorizo and melting, smooth and buttery Queso Quesadilla, all drizzled with a subtly spicy, creamy Poblano Crema. This dish is hearty and rich, and the combination of authentic Mexican flavors is truly over-the-top! Also, the touch of lemon juice and fresh cilantro in the recipe brings the perfect amount of brightness to balance out each bite.
This would be lovely served with a rustic bread and with a mixed green salad in a light dressing. Add a couple of glasses or wine or champagne – and a chocolate dessert – and you’re totally set for an evening to remember! Some of my favorite “date nights” have been quiet dinners at home. They’re intimate, loving and will create new and wonderful memories for you and your sweetheart to share.
In addition to being super delicious, I also love that while this entrée looks quite extravagant – and as if it might have taken a lot of time to make – it’s really simple to prepare and much of the work can be done ahead of time.
Of course, this would also be a spectacular to serve at a dinner party for more guests. Just double or triple the recipe! Enjoy!
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WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 (approximately 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons Cacique® Pork Chorizo
- ½ cup grated Cacique® Queso Quesadilla
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, washed and dried, divided
- olive oil for the pan
- ½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 Poblano pepper (approximately 4-ounces)
- 2 tablespoons Cacique® Crema Mexicana
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- sea salt and finely ground black pepper
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and adjust a rack to the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the chicken breasts on a clean, dry surface, smooth side up. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over them, and use a smooth meat mallet or the bottom of a small sauté pan to pound them until they’re approximately ¼ to ½-inch thick. Remove the plastic and flip them over so the smooth side is down. Spread 1 tablespoon of the chorizo in a thin layer, evenly on each chicken breast. Sprinkle each one with half of the cheese. Then add approximately 1 tablespoon of the cilantro leave on top on each one. Set the remaining cilantro aside.
- Starting with the ends closest to you, roll each chicken breast up as tightly as possible. Place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet, seam side down. Sprinkle each one with salt and pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Place in the preheated 375 degree F oven until they’re cooked through, approximately 25 minutes.
- While the chicken is in the oven, make the Poblano Crema. Place the pepper directly on a high. Use kitchen tongs to turn the pepper as each side chars. It should be mostly black when you’re done and will take just a few minutes. Place the pepper in a plastic bag and let it steam for a few minutes. While the pepper is steaming, coat the bottom of a medium-sized sauté pan with olive oil, add the onions, and place it over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and paprika and stir. Set aside. Now peel the roasted pepper, remove the seeds and roughly chop it. Add ¼ cup of it to a blender. Add the onions, remaining cilantro, lemon juice and ½ cup water to the blender. Purée until it’s about half way smooth and then add the mixture back to the sauté pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and simmer until it has thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the Crema Mexicana and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and cut each breast into slices about ½ to 1-inch thick. Add some of the Poblano Crema to the bottom each serving plate and place the chicken slices on top. Then drizzle more on top of each one and serve.
- Note: You can prep the roulades up to 6 hours ahead of time, through rolling them -- keep them wrapped in plastic, stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to put them in the oven. You can make the crema up to 1 day ahead of time – just warm it over very low heat while the roulades are roasting.