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Anaheim chiles are long, green, pointed chiles that add a piquant touch to dishes but won't leave you screaming for emergency tongue-dousing.

Also known as "California chiles," their relative lack of chile heat makes them one of the most versatile chiles. They are roasted and stuffed with cheese and rice for chiles rellenos, a recipe that only a certified heat-seeker would make with the paler but similar-looking Hungarian chiles.

Some cooks prefer fresh or roasted Anaheims for green chile salsa, and roasted Anaheims are usually the product sold canned as "green chile" in the Mexican food aisle.

Local flavor: This chile gets its name from the first area in the United States to become known for its production: Anaheim, Calif.

Here, Anaheim chiles add a wallop of chile flavor but little heat to a pot of Chicken Chile Verde. Adjust the corn, black bean and cilantro levels to suit your tastes.

>Chicken Chili Verde

3 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces

6 tablespoons flour

6 tablespoons olive oil

3 cups chopped onions

4 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 cups chopped fresh Anaheim chiles

1 1/2 cups sliced green bell peppers

1 1/2 cups corn, canned or thawed frozen

6 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon oregano

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

2 cinnamon sticks

1 can black beans, drained

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaf and stem, plus more for garnish

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Tortilla chips, for serving (optional)

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In large bowl, toss chicken with flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy, large pot over medium-high heat. Add half of chicken to pot and cook until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining chicken.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; saute until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add Anaheim chilies and green bell peppers. Saute until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add chicken broth, oregano, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onions and garlic and cinnamon sticks to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 hours.

When almost done, stir in black beans and cilantro. Remove cinnamon sticks. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Ladle into bowls. Garnish with tortilla chips and more cilantro, and serve with lime wedges.

e-mail: agalarneau@buffnews.com