Park Palates: Furnace Creek Inn Stuffed Mojave Chicken

January 19, 2010, 11:53 am

ChickenExperience the flavors of the desert at home with this savory recipe from the chefs at Furnace Creek Inn at Death Valley National Park. Its spicy flavors and local ingredients evoke the spirit and culture of the American Southwest. The recipe, which appears in the book Dining at Great American Lodges, has been tested and adapted for the home cook by author Sharon O’Connor.

Furnace Creek Inn Stuffed Mojave Chicken
These spicy chicken breasts are stuffed with cheese and chilies. Serve with salsa, wild rice and a seasonal fresh vegetable.

4 boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup shredded queso blanco or mild Monterey cheese
2 whole green chilies, chopped (or one 4-ounce can whole peeled green chilies, drained and chopped)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
Tabasco sauce, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Spice Rub
Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon pure chile powder
2 garlic coves, minced
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, chilies, cumin, garlic, Tobasco, salt and pepper to make stuffing. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut a horizontal slice in each chicken breast and use your fingers to spread open the pockets. Stuff each pocket with the cheese mixture.

To make the rub: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Stir to make a paste. Rub the chicken breasts with paste to coat evenly.

In a large, ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the live oil until almost smoking. Add the chicken breasts, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over, transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Sharon O’Connor, author of ‘Dining at Great American Lodges.’