Chile Colorado-inspired chicken stuffed shells
As you’re perusing recipes for stuffed shells, you’re going to find some really great Italian-based recipes and those recipes for stuffed shells are fantastic. However, we believe that there is more one can do with the stuffed shell than the classic approach (not that we don’t love the classic Italian approach.) Still, sometimes we want variety and so we took the stuffed shell and took it South of the border to try something a little different.
This recipe for stuffed shells is completely inspired by our love of chili Colorado, which is beef stewed in a smoked chili sauce. In the Blog Well Done household, chili Colorado is our quicker, less ingredient intensive version of mole that we like just as well. Still, we thought beef might overwhelm the flavor of the shell, so we opted for chicken, but kept the chili sauce.
Does that sound like a recipe for stuffed shells you might like?
You will need:
• 2 cups chicken broth or water
• 2 onion, sliced
• 5 cloves garlic, halved
• Salt and pepper
• 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
• Cooking spray
• 4 ancho chilies
• 4 guajillo chilies
• 1 can of chipotles in adobo sauce
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably dried Mexican oregano
• 1/2 cup tomato sauce
• 1 box of stuffed shells
• 1 package of cream cheese
• 3 cups of cheddar cheese
This recipe for stuffed shells suggests that you brine your chicken for an hour or up to a day. If you don’t have time for that, you can skip it and go right to cooking the chicken.
- To prepare the brine, pour 2 cups of broth or water into a large bowl with a lid or a freezer bag. Add 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup salt and pepper to taste. Put the chicken in the bowl and let it sit for as little as an hour or as much as 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Pat the chicken dry. Cover liberally with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet covered in cooking spray.
- Bake the chicken for 22 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, bring a saucepan of water to boil.
- Once boiling, kill the heat and add the dried chilies. Let them rehydrate for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the water and put the chilies in a food processor with the other onion, the rest of the garlic, 1 chipotle, 2 tablespoons of adobo and the oregano.
- Blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water from the chilies.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl.
- Put the chicken into the food processor and use it to shred the chicken.
- Finally, cook the shells according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- While the shells are cooking, mix the cream cheese, one cup of cheddar cheese and chicken together.
- Spray a baking dish with cooking spray, then fill the finished shells with the cream cheese mixture.
- Place the shells on the baking dish, then pour in the sauce.
- Finally, top with the rest of the cheese and bake until the cheese is melted.