A Hatch Kind of Idea

This week launched the Hatch Chile Festival at Central Market.  This festival is going on it’s 15th year, with each one being more unique.  Two weeks ago, Market Street launched their own festival- roasting the spicy little guys as you wish.  The feeling I get when I see one of those huge rotating roasters..ahhh, pure joy.  Seriously.  It reminds me that Fall is on its way..and along with Fall comes the best holiday of all-my birthday.  HA!  Kidding.  No really, my favorite time of year is Fall..the beginning of sweater weather and all the fun that goes along with it, ahem-football.  Enough said.  Pretty sure I like the game more than my fireman.  Eh, maybe.  So, back to the chiles.  I started to do a little research about the Hatch, and chiles in general and found out some fun facts.  Among the most interesting was the fact that just one fresh medium-sized green chile pod has as much Vitamin C as six oranges.  Who knew?!  In fact, Chiles are among the Vitamin C SuperFoods, so to speak.  Also–did you know that Chile peppers are relatives of tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants?  Yeah, I didn’t know that either.  I honestly have never really made anything with the Hatch Chile, so, I started out ‘easy’, making something I’m more familiar with and changing up the ingredients.  I paired it with a delightfully rich (but not too rich!) stuffed chicken breast, grilled to juicy perfection. 

Spinach Stuffed Chicken
with Hatch Green Salsa


8 ounces tomatillos
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Hatch chile peppers
1/2 cup sliced white onion
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
The juice of 2 limes

2 tsp olive or canola oil
3.5 cups fresh baby spinach, about one large bag
4 slices pepper-jack cheese
4 (6oz) raw skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Chile powder

To prepare salsa: Roast chiles over open flame (grill) or under broiler set to HI until blackened and blistered, about 5-6 minutes.  Place chiles in a bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap for about 15 minutes.  Peel of blackened skin and remove stem, seed, and ribs.  Set aside. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cook the tomatillos in the boiling water until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside. Combine the tomatillos, garlic, peppers, onion and avocado in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Blend in cilantro, salt and lime juice. Set aside for topping the chicken.

In medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add spinach, cooking until dark green and wilted.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.  Cut a deep 2-inch-wide pocket in the thickest part of each chicken breast with a paring knife. Layer cheese and stuff with the spinach. Season with salt, pepper, and chile pepper. 

Preheat a grill to high and brush the grates with vegetable oil, if needed. Grill the chicken until juices run clear, about 8 to 10 minutes per side.  Remove from grill and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.  Top with Hatch Chile Tomatillo Salsa and serve!

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 300
Fat: 12g
Carbohydrates: 12g
Fiber: 3.8g
Protein: 27g

Congrats to Edible Nutrition for winning the $30 certificate to CSN stores!!  Can’t wait to hear about her purchase(s)  ;)


  1. I love fall! Jeans, sweaters, hoodies, cider mills, leaves changing colors, it's my favorite time of year!


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