It is FALL. Like full speed ahead, I should be thinking about Thanksgiving, my kids are giving me Christmas wishes, and the lawnmower has turned into a high powered vacuum cleaner for leaves FALL.
And as much as I’d like every recipe to be all about pumpkin ravioli, browned butter, and apple pie, the truth of it is that every day we still have to eat lunch.
Sometimes lunch can get pretty boring, all full of leftovers and pieces of meals that used to be. We make plenty of ham sandwiches, big green salads, and peanut butter and jelly.
About once every other week I make a big batch of something and it’s my lunch for days and days. Sometimes it’s soup. Sometimes it’s freaking awesome honey mustard dressing, perfect for all salads and EVERY leftover piece of chicken.
Sometimes I like to spice things up a bit. You guys know I like some heat (ahem… Habanero Hot Sauce). So I roasted some Poblano peppers, pureed them with roasted vegetables, poached chicken, and a little bit of mayonnaise and made this spicy chicken salad that is soooooo great.
Bright colors make boring lunches feel kind of exciting.
Oh! Also- peeling the skins off of your roasted Poblano peppers is really easy. Place the warm (not HOT… let them cool just a little bit) roasted peppers inside a plastic sandwich bag and then just gently rub the outsides of the peppers. The skin just rolls right away. You’ll feel professional.
I love a roasted vegetable. This was a red onion, yellow onion, green pepper combo here. I avoided red bell peppers for two reasons: #1 – because they cost like $2.99 each at my local grocery and I think the produce manager must have bumped his head, and #B – red plus green equals brown. Complimentary. Remember that.
The perfectly wonderful thing about chicken salad is that it works so many ways. It makes a super great sandwich. I rolled mine up in flour tortillas because I was feeling bored with sandwich bread. THIS chicken salad, though, would be great for a party spread. Like it would make your tortilla chips REALLY happy. Or smeared on whole wheat crackers (where’s the Melba toast when you need it?!!!) with a tiny dab of sour cream… on an appetizer tray that might actually look like I know what I’m doing.
Spice up your lunch is what I’m saying.
It’s totally worth the little bit of effort.
- 2 Poblano peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound cooked chicken breast (great for using up leftover roasted chicken OR just poach a couple of breasts)
- 1½ cups onion (white, yellow, or red), thinly sliced (for faster roasting)
- ½ cup bell pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ cup celery, trimmed and sliced into long thin sticks
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mayonnaise (I’m a Light Duke’s mayo fan), more if needed to reach desired consistency
- Pre-heat the oven to 375.
- Rub the Poblano peppers all over with about 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Place them directly on the top oven rack. *** If you have a gas stove and can be trusted near an open flame, you can roast your peppers stove top instead of in the oven***
- If you need to poach your chicken, now’s the time to start it.
- Toss the onions, bell peppers, and celery with the remaining olive oil and spread them in a single layer across a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven on the rack below the peppers.
- Stir the vegetables around every 5 minutes to ensure even browning. Turn the poblano peppers on the rack. The vegetables should be done in about 20 minutes.
- Let the Poblano peppers cool slightly and then remove the skins. Slice them open and scrape out the seeds.
- Place the Poblano peppers in the food processor (or blender) with the garlic, salt, and mayonnaise and pulse until smooth. Add the chicken and roasted vegetables. Continue pulsing until you’ve reached the desired consistency; add more mayonnaise if you feel so inclined.
- Serve it HOWEVER you want.