Duck Chiles Rellenos

September/October 2013

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The days of just stuffing chiles with cheese to make chiles rellenos are over. Case in point: this duck-filled chile relleno recipe with onion, garlic, tomato, green olives, almonds and raisins. If you prefer, this chile relleno recipe also works with chicken instead of duck; use 1 cup chopped cooked chicken in Step 6.

Duck Chiles Rellenos

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 duck legs and thighs (leg quarters, about 9 ounces each)
  • 4 medium poblano peppers or New Mexican green chiles (see Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon raisins, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Preheat grill to medium.
  2. Remove skin from duck legs and thighs by sliding a paring knife under it and making little cuts in the membrane to release the skin from the meat. (Discard skin.)
  3. Place the duck and peppers on the grill. Grill the duck, turning occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part without touching bone registers 165°F, about 15 minutes. Grill the peppers, turning occasionally, until blistered on all sides, about 15 minutes total.
  4. When the duck is cool enough to handle, strip the meat off the bones and finely chop. Peel the peppers and cut them open on one side to remove the seeds; leave stems intact if possible. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add tomato and vinegar and cook, stirring, until the tomato starts to break down, about 3 minutes. Stir in the duck, olives, almonds, raisins and salt. Remove from the heat.
  6. Stuff each pepper with about 1/2 cup of the filling and place on a baking sheet. Bake until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve each relleno with 1 tablespoon sour cream, garnished with cilantro leaves, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 6 (omit almonds); refrigerate peppers and filling separately for up to 1 day. To serve, stir in almonds and finish Step 7.
  • Poblano peppers (sometimes called pasilla peppers) are dark green in color, about 6 inches long and can be fiery or relatively mild; there’s no way to tell until you taste them. New Mexico chiles (aka. Anaheim chiles) are 7 to 10 inches long, ripen from green to red and are mildly spicy. The two can be used interchangeably and are found at most large supermarkets.


Per serving: 201 calories; 12 g fat (3 g sat, 6 g mono); 35 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 4 g fiber; 400 mg sodium; 510 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (172% daily value), Vitamin A (19% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 1/2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
1 hour or less
Main Ingredient
Poultry, other
Preparation/ Technique

Cinco de Mayo
Type of Dish
Main dish, poultry
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