Hatch Chile Fever!

Hey ya’ll,
I know I have been neglecting my blog this week but that’s only because I just started my last semester of college this past Monday. Yes, I am super duper excited to finally be graduating!. In any case, this week has been crazy, filled with buying books and serving gallons of coffee to people (by the way as we ease back into the school year, it seems as though people are more likely to be highly caffeinated at all hours of the day…most notably middle school teachers). Not to mention, this week I have already developed a flaming case of “senioritis”, just itching to get out of my “eventful” classes where I listen to my professors jabber on about sports law cases, motor development issues, and somewhere in between all of this…they still have the time to crack old-men jokes to which the class responds unenthusiastically…..crickets. During some of these classes I have taken to daydreaming, which definitely has it’s benefits in that these are the moments where I take off into foodie land and come up with some wild recipes. This week the theme is hatch chiles, which right now, are huge in Austin, Tx. You see, at the end of the summer the grocery stores have about a three-week long period where trucks from New Mexico come in and dump off their in season barrels of hatch green chiles. Now I am only going to say this once, get them while you can because these little suckers go fast! At the local Central Market, Whole Foods, etc. they start to prepare all of their in-house dishes with hatch chiles. While I was at Central Market the other day I saw that they had everything, from hatch chile chicken salad, to hatch chile crab cakes, they even had homemade hand-strung, hatch chile mozzarella, BAM! I immediately thought of the one dish that I love more in this world that has hatch green chiles in it, and that is my Mawmaw’s King Ranch Chicken Casserole. I have dreams about this stuff, I mean it’s delicious: green chiles, ro-tel tomatoes, two kinds of condensed soups, and chicken, layered over corn tortillas, and baked until the cheddar cheese is nicely browned and bubbling on top. Definitely a meal for the royal family! However, instead of doing the traditional casserole, I decided to make it lunch-friendly (since I’m in school I pack my lunch now…everyday), and because I love, love, love chicken salad, this is what I came up with. Hatch Green Chile Chicken Salad (King Ranch Style)! MANGIA!

5 pieces of boneless, skinless, chicken thighs (You could use chicken breasts as well)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 4 oz can diced, roasted, hatch green chiles
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
2 TBS. mayonnaise
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place the chicken in a large pot and fill the pot halfway with cold water.
2. Place the pot on the stove and boil the chicken over medium-high heat until tender and cooked through (i.e. no pink color anywhere).
3. Transfer the chicken to a large bowl and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
4. Dice the chicken into small pieces (For this part, I just used my hands and shredded the chicken into small pieces).
5. To the bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until fully incorporated with the chicken, salt and pepper to your liking.
6. Place in the fridge and let the chicken salad marinate for a couple of hours, or overnight if you choose.

I know I will be eating this for lunch until I run out, preferably wrapped in a corn tortilla with some cilantro, or tucked away in a store-bought crepe, or alongside some salty Ritz crackers! You choose, the possibilities are endless!

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