Mario's Restaurant Crash Site Chicken
Roswell, New Mexico is a small desert town in the middle of nowhere that became world famous because of one incident that may not have happened. This past Independence Day was the 50th anniversary of the debated crash of a UFO. Amid the parades, costume contests, scientific-like presentations, and items for sale (which included everything from abduction insurance to a dead "alien" in a mason jar), there was a banquet.
Held in Hangar 84, the site where crash debris and off-world bodies were purportedly taken in 1947, the dinner's featured speaker was Whitley Streiber, author of the book Communion. He was not abducted during the banquet, which was catered by local restaurateur Mario Reid. Mario maintained the general other-worldly spirit of the event with dishes such as "MOO F. O." (Beef roulades), "Cover-Up Pork," and "Flan Saucer Dessert."
I was able to extract the recipe for "Crash Site Chicken" from Mario, which consisted of skinless, boneless chicken breasts in puff pastry with mozzarella and a green chile and pecan concass. The original recipe served 500, so I've cut it down a bit.
- 8 chicken breasts, skinned and deboned
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped New Mexican green chile
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon dry vermouth
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 16 pieces puff pastry dough
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 egg whites
Place the chicken breasts on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 300°F. Remove and reserve.
To make the concass: in a skillet, combine the tomato, chile, garlic, and vermouth and sauté over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes.
In a dry skillet, toast the pecans, taking care not to burn them. Add the pecans to the concassé during the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir well, and remove from the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place each chicken breast on a piece of puff pastry dough. Cover each breast with 2 teaspoons of concass and a sprinkling of cheese. Place the other piece of puff pastry dough over the top of the breast and crimp the edges of the two pieces of dough together to seal. Using a brush, paint the puff pastry with the egg whites.
Bake on cookie sheets in a 350°F oven until golden brown.