Chicken & Chile Relleno Tart

By • March 10, 2011 • 13 Comments

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Author Notes: Roast chicken and cheese stuffed Anaheim peppers combined with Salsa de Chile Rojo in a free form cornmeal tart; an idea that was inspired by a blackberry free form tart I have on onsite. Delicious and fun to make.lapadia

Serves 6 easily and up to 8 if sliced smaller


  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups cubed roasted chicken
  • 4-5 fresh roasted Anaheim peppers (or canned if not in season)
  • 1 cup Queso Fresco
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar - for topping, or other cheese of choice
  • 3/4 cup chile sauce (recipe below)
  1. 1a. Make the Smoky Salsa de Chile Rojo (recipe below). 1b. Roast the peppers - set aside.
  2. 2a. Cube the chicken and grate cheddar cheese - set aside until needed. 2b. Cube some Queso Fresco and stuff the roasted peppers with it; add what is left over to the bottom of the crust - set aside until needed. 2c. Combine the chicken and Chile Rojo in a bowl - set aside until needed.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 10 inch pie or tart pan.
  4. MAKE THE CRUST: In a medium bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter until it resembles the size of peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of milk over mixture; gently toss with a fork. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is moistened (dough will be crumbly). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 7-8 times or just until it clings together. Form into a ball.
  5. Roll the dough into a 12 inch circle and place into a pie or tart pan.
  6. Place (if any) extra Queso Fresco onto the center of the dough. Mound the reserved chicken mixture over the top. Position the peppers (in a circle) over the top, place one in the middle if you any extra. Fold the border up over the sides, keeping it rustic looking.
  7. Brush the top and sides with 1 tablespoon of milk. Cover with the cheddar cheese.
  8. Bake about 40 minutes or until the crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Cover with foil the last 10-15 minutes of baking, crust is browning to fast…but I have never needed to do that.
  9. Cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Salsa de Chile Rojo

  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of ground clove
  • ½ cup sweet onion, cut up
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 - 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • Optional - 1 ½ teaspoon liquid smoke for a smoky flavored sauce (my preference)
  1. Combine chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper and ground clove – set aside.
  2. Sauté onion and sugar in the olive oil until onion starts to turn soft.
  3. Add water one tablespoon at a time cooking the onion mushy.
  4. Stir in the dry mixture adding a couple more tablespoons water if needed - to make a paste.
  5. Add tomato sauce and if using-liquid smoke, stir and simmer 1 hour.
Jump to Comments (13)

Tags: Serves a small crowd; everyone will be in "Awe!"

Comments (13) Questions (0)


7 months ago Bevi

I must make this when I return from travels!


7 months ago lapadia



over 1 year ago LetaBee

what is queso fresco? what could i use instead?


about 3 years ago EmilyC

My stomach is growling looking at this picture, and I have a long way 'til lunch! : )


about 3 years ago lapadia

Oh my, EmilyC! Would love to hear back if you try this sometime...


about 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Love this idea. Sounds good. Thanks again for the inspiration.


about 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, MCT! Would love your feedback and/or tweaks if you try this :)


about 3 years ago BlueKaleRoad

Yum, I'm ready for lunch!


about 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks, BKR...It's the perfect day for something like this, too!


about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Its fantastic, like a deconstructed tamale.The salsa sounds wonderful.


about 3 years ago lapadia

Thanks sdebrango, hope you will try it sometime!


over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yum! Reminds me of tamales.


over 3 years ago lapadia