Queso Fundido is one of my favorite splurge foods when we go out. It is gooey, melted cheese with caramelized onions and strips of roasted poblano peppers. Queso Fundido is literally “melted cheese” and has many variations, but my favorite is the traditional onions and poblano peppers. We eat chicken a few times a week and I’m always thinking of ways to change up the rotation. This dish combines a dinner staple with a restaurant favorite.
First, I had to find the cheeses I wanted to use for this recipe. I couldn’t find everything, so next was finding a suitable substitute that would be easily accessible to everyone. Enter super gooey and melty cheese: mozzarella. Because I wasn’t able to find exactly what I wanted, I opted for something that would undoubtedly be in any grocery store. Finding specialty items can be particularly challenging in smaller areas, whereas in Brooklyn I had everything I could ever want. Sometimes, it’s like a scavenger hunt in Florida. It definitely keeps me on my toes.
Now that I had my cheeses, I was ready to start testing. I have a couple of people in my life that I use as guinea pigs. I trust them because they are in my circle, but also, they will give honest feedback. If they aren’t wild about something, they will tell me. In my opinion, it’s important to have these people in your life. I don’t want to be told everything I do is magical… on the other hand, I suppose sometimes that is quite nice. The reason I bring this up is this- both of them went wild for this chicken.
My first tester said it was “absolutely delicious” as soon as she took the first bite. My second tester made “the face”. You know the one, when you eat something amazing and your eyes glaze over a bit? Yeah, that one. I live for that face.
I don’t use toothpicks to secure my chicken. Admittedly because I don’t have any, but generally speaking, I like to use 6 inch wooden skewers. I thread them through the chicken and overlap the skewers to hold everything in place. They are sturdier and less apt to break while you are pushing them through and there is no doubt over whether or not you’ve removed all of them. There is nothing worse than getting a piece of toothpick in your meal.
I really hope you make this chicken, I can’t emphasize enough how good it is. It was a huge hit in our house and I’m certain it will be a smash in your house too! Tag me @pookspantry on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to show me your creation… and hopefully “the face”.
Pin Cheese Stuffed Queso Fundido Chicken:
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
- 3 large poblano peppers
- 1 TB canola oil
- 1 cup shredded Mexican-Blend cheese
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 equal size slices
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Saute onions in a tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat until caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
- While onions are cooking, rub poblano peppers with a light layer of oil and slide under the broiler (you could also grill them). Turn the peppers until the skin is charred all over. Remove from oven and place peppers in a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let them sit while you prepare chicken.
- With a sharp knife, make a wide slit in the side of the chicken. Stuff a slice (about 1 ounce) of mozzarella inside and thread 2 skewers through the chicken to secure closed. Season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Remove caramelized onions from pan and set aside. Place chicken smooth side down into pan and cook until lightly browned. Flip chicken and slide pan into oven and cook for 15 minutes.
- While chicken is in the oven, remove poblano peppers from the bowl and using a paper towel, rub the charred skin off of the peppers. Remove seeds and membrane from inside the peppers, then slice into strips and combine with onions.
- Top chicken with the remaining slices of mozzarella, sprinkle onions and poblanos on top and finally, sprinkle the shredded cheese over the whole thing.
- Put back in the oven for 8-10 minutes, then switch on broiler to brown the cheese until it's bubbly and melted.
- Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove skewers before serving.
Tip: to remove skewers, I use a fork to help steady the chicken as I pull it out. Pull the skewer through the tines of the fork as it is pressed against the chicken to hold it in place.
If you are lucky enough to find good Mexican cheeses in your area, this is what you really want:
- Queso Quesadilla
- Queso Asadero
Used to make Cheese Stuffed Queso Fundido Chicken:
Looking for more cheese?
- Pimento Cheese Potato Salad
- One Pot Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
- Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart