Chicken Maximilian is an innovative version of the Mexican classic, chiles rellenos. Chilies re stuffed with cheese, then wrapped in a chicken breast, deep fried, and baked. Chef Mark Hollger says this dish began as a special creation for a banquet in tribute to the Emperor Maximilian. Through word of mouth, it is frequently requested, although not on the menu at Santa Fe. Hollger and his kitchen staff are prepared to produce it for the inevitable special request. Chef Hollger suggests serving it with Mexican-style rice.
- Chicken Breasts - two, 8-ounce boneless, skinless
- Salt, pepper, paprika, minced garlic, and minced fresh cilantro to taste
- Anaheim Chilies - 2, roasted and peeled
- Cheddar Cheese - 1/2 cup, shredded
- Monterey Jack cheese - 1/2 cup, shredded
- Flour for dusting
- Milk - 3 eggs beaten with 2 tablespoons
- Dried bread crumbs - 2 cups
- Vegetable oil
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Garlic - 1/2 teaspoon, minced
- Assorted Bell Peppers - 1 cup, diced
- Brown Gravy - 1 cup
- Dry Red Wine - 2 tablespoons
- Basil or Cilantro - 2 sprigs
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Flatten the chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness with a meat pounder. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and cilantro. Split open the chilies and remove the seeds. Combine the cheeses into two football shapes and stuff one inside each chili. Roll each chicken breast around a stuffed chili. Dust the chicken rolls with flour. Dip into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs. Heat 3 inches of the oil to 350 F in a large heavy pot or deep fryer. Fry the chicken rolls for 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned. Remove, place in a baking pan, and bake for 20 minutes, until the chicken is completely done and any chicken juices run clear.
To make the sauce: In a medium saute pan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the garlic and peppers for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add the brown gravy and red wine and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
To serve: Pool the sauce on individual serving platters. Cut the chicken rolls diagonally into slices and arrange the slices on the sauce. Garnish with basil or cilantro sprigs.