Chicken Linguine Blanca with Poblanos
Notes from Leah:
This is my family's favorite pasta dish these days. Granted, their favorites
change on occasion, as I invent new things, but this one really is a hit. My 10
month old daughter, her three older sisters (all of whom have very different
preferences), as well as my husband, devour every last bit. The toppings are
optional just as one might choose to use or not use grated parmesan on plain old
spaghetti marinara. The dish has a Hispanic flair but is versatile enough
for anyone who enters my dining room. Poblanos chilies and epazote lend special
flavor, but no heat.
Step 1: Sauce
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1 quart water
1 tsp. epazote
3 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp. real butter
8 oz. asadero cheese
8 oz. crumbled Ranchero® cheese
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 cups roasted, peeled Poblanos chilies (directions below)
Step 2: 12 oz Linguine, cooked al dente
Pico di gallo (finely chopped fresh tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro, with
salt and lime)
crumbled queso fresco (adds a little extra texture)
chopped cilantro leaves (no stems, too overwhelming)
Place chicken, water and epazote in medium saucepan. Cover and boil on high for
10 minutes. Remove chicken to plate and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. If there
are large pieces of epazote, break them up or remove. Return chicken to pan.
Continue to boil, uncovered, until liquid is almost gone. Add cream and butter
and reduce heat to simmer.
Add cheeses and spices. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until smooth except for
chicken. Julienne the roasted peppers and add to the sauce. Simmer another 5
minutes and it is ready to serve with al dente linguine.
I sometimes toss the pasta and sauce together on a large pasta platter and serve
family style, and sometimes I place a portion of pasta on a plate, cover with
chicken/sauce, then add some crumbled queso fresco, topped with pico di gallo,
and if the guest prefers, chopped cilantro.
Directions for roasting chilies: Place under broiler (my oven is electric) until
skin blisters and turn to blister the other side. Immediately remove and place
in a tightly covered dish or plastic bag to "sweat" at least 10 minutes. If
still too warm to handle, run under cool tap water. Skins slip right off. To
use, core and seed, then chop or julienne. When I roast peppers, I roast a
huge cookie sheet of them, then store some in the fridge, some in the freezer
core, seed OR PEEL), so that I have them handy whenever I want.
MOM!MOM! Notes: Epazote is a
little hard to find. I checked and found ground
coriander seed is a pretty good substitute. Also you can change the cheeses
if you have a hard
time finding them. Ranchero
cheese is a trademark for
queso fresco from Cacique, Inc.