Chicken with Poblano Cilantro Cream


It happens the first week of every January. The holidays are over and I’m craving Mexican food. I find myself deep into chile sauces and masa. Hominy and cilantro. Avocados and serranos. But what do you do if you have those “hold the garlic” guests on board? Well, check out this amazing dish that uses no garlic or onions, yet is unmistakably Mexican.


Poblano Cilantro Cream Sauce

For a print-friendly recipe see below

2 jalapeños, seeded
4 poblano chilis, seeded
1 cup cilantro
1/3 cup Half & Half
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh fine ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream


Heat your galley oven to 350º. Seed all of your peppers. Best if you can find some rubber or surgical gloves for this process. And don’t rub your eyes! Chop the pile of peppers and place in a hand-cranked food processor. Grind until they are chopped fine.


Next add the cilantro and Half & Half.


Grind down to a nice pulp and set aside.


Now make your white sauce. Melt the butter in a medium sized pot and add the flour. Cook for a minute stirring constantly.


Add the poblano-cilantro mixture and one cup of cream. Stir constantly until thickened. If it becomes too thick, add more cream. Then salt and pepper to taste. Not too much salt. Keep this sauce smooth, creamy and mellow. Grated cheese will be added at the end to give the slightly salty edge it needs.


Sautéd Chicken Breasts

1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper

Top with 1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack or a combo of both)


Salt and pepper the chicken breasts (this recipe calls for 4 breasts…half breasts, that would be. But the breasts I used here were so big I just made three.)

Heat butter and EVOO in a sauté pan. Sauté on low for about 8 minutes per side, depending on the size of the chicken breasts. The objective is to get these just cooked through, ever so slightly pink on the inside. Don’t overcooked. They will soon get another dose of heat in the oven.


Place the sautéd breasts in a casserole dish. Pour the cilantro cream sauce over and sprinkled the cheese on top.


Place in your preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.


Serve with a light vegetable or salad. Avocados and pomegranate seeds were on the menu this evening.


Check back with Galley Pirates every Friday morning for more wonderful recipes from around the world. All cooked in sailboat galleys!

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