Smoked Chicken and Rajas with Fresh San Marzano Tomatoes

What do you do when a fine neighbor brings an offering from his garden? Perhaps you combine it with an offering from your own for a simple yet satisfying meal.

We have been watching some fine Anaheim Chiles grow in our front yard, evidently a volunteer plant from last year's Chile Ristras that decorated our porch from the holidays. When the tomatoes arrived I decided dinner had to be something that could highlight both.

Hickory and apple wood smoked chicken breasts with New Mexican spices, Rajas and Spanish Rice with refried beans complimented the fresh tomatoes. Rajas are a combination of sauteed onions, garlic, roasted chiles and spices combined with cream that create a rich and delicious dish that can stand alone or compliment Carne or Pollo Asada. I hope you enjoy the recipes below as much as we did.

Smoked Chicken Breast

The chicken breast was prepared with a spicy southwest rub and slow cooked with indirect heat on the grill with apple and hickory wood chips. It is finished by grilling on direct heat till desired appearance and color.

Anaheim Chile Rajas
You can use different peppers or seasonings but this is a good model recipe.

4 medium, fresh Anaheim chiles, roasted and peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2/3 cup crema or whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon - thyme, 1 tsp Mexican oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Chiles: Stem and seed the roasted chiles. You can remove the veins if you want a more mild rajas. Slice the chiles crosswise into 1/4" strips.

Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan over medium heat and fry the onions until they brown, about 7 -8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chile strips, cook 2 minutes.

Add the cream, herbs, and bay leaves and simmer until the liquid reduces enough to just coat the vegetables. Remove the bay leaves, taste and adjust salt as needed. 


1 Cup rice
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 Cup diced white onion
1/4 Cup diced green onion
1 clove garlic, diced or minced
1 Tbsp spicy southwest rub or to taste

Coat bottom of skillet with Olive or vegetable oil. Add rice and stir fry for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, diced white onions and diced green peppers and continue to stir until the onions are translucent and the rice may begin to brown. Add one can diced tomatoes (with juice) and lightly sprinkle with seasonings such as spicy southwest rub . Add water to cover rice and simmer with lid until rice is done.

To Finish:
Add refried beans, the fresh sliced San Marzano tomatoes, and sprinkle with grated or crumbled Cotija cheese.

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