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A Taste of Nevada: Desert Tequila Chicken

Desert Tequila Chicken
Desert Tequila Chicken
Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

**For more great food from America's party state, Nevada, go to the Facebook page called A Taste of Nevada**

The Silver State of Nevada is truly one of the most gorgeous geographical places on the face of the earth. Whether it be the unbelievable beauty of the Nordic lake known as Tahoe, the high desert of the Reno area or the low desert landscape of southern Nevada, the gateway to the southwest, the magic of Nevada is alive and well. There is probably no state in America with such a colorful history and as you will now learn from this new series by internationally renown chef and bestselling cookbook author, Larry Edwards, there is no state which can match Nevada for fresh, healthy and downright delicious food. So, whether you're sunning on the shores of Lake Tahoe, revisiting the west at Virginia City, enjoying "the biggest little city in the world," marveling at the beauty of the capital city of Carson City, playing in Las Vegas or frolicking in fabulous Fernley -- a taste of Nevada is only a fork away!

Desert cuisine is really its own style of cooking. It is a cuisine which relies on the flavors of the region and has a very earthy texture. There are only a few places in the United States where you can experience true desert cuisine and Nevada is one of them.

I love desert cuisine. I love eating it, I love cooking it and at one time I even loved having a restaurant that served it. This dish is pure desert and is a dish I created when in a rather hazy state of mental being, decided that marinating chicken thighs (my favorite part of the bird) in a tequila based marinade would bring me my own personal rapture. In a roundabout way, I was right. This is seriously an incredible dish and if you're into grilling, go head and pop the bad boys over the coals.

Ingredients needed to make Desert Tequila Chicken (Serves 2):

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. minced cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup grenadine
  • 2 Tbs. corn oil

Steps:

  1. Remove any excess fat from the chicken thighs (remember, there is a difference between fat and skin - much like in humans).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, except the oil, until well combined.
  3. In a medium saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  4. Add the chicken to the marinade and let marinate 1 hour at room temperature.
  5. Pre-heat your broiler.
  6. Remove the chicken from the marinade and carefully place into the saute pan.
  7. Cook the chicken thighs about 8 minutes per side (or to desired doneness).
  8. Place the pan, with the chicken skin-side up, under the broiler and broil about 2 minutes (or until the skin just begins to char).
  9. Remove the pan from the broiler and place the chicken on serving plates.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."

Desert Tequila Chicken
Desert Tequila Chicken Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

Desert Tequila Chicken

Chicken thighs marinated in a tequila marinade and then cooked to perfection. You'll have a delicious savory exterior and a moist meat. A very easy dish to prepare at home and a definite Taste of Nevada.

Desert Tequila Chicken: The Ingredients
Desert Tequila Chicken: The Ingredients Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

Desert Tequila Chicken: The Ingredients

Nothing really special needed. No fancy ingredients. A very earthy flavor created with herbs, spices and some tequila. This dish works best with chicken thighs and will not be nearly as good if you use breast meat.

Desert Tequila Chicken: The Marinade
Desert Tequila Chicken: The Marinade Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

Desert Tequila Chicken: The Marinade

This is a very flavorful marinade and quite robust, unlike most chicken marinades. By having the tequila in the marinade, it will actually penetrate the chicken flesh, thus giving you more flavor

Desert Tequila Chicken: Marinating the Chicken
Desert Tequila Chicken: Marinating the Chicken Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

Desert Tequila Chicken: Marinating the Chicken

There is no need for a long marinating session here. Due to the fact the marinade contains tequila (alcohol), if marinated for more than an hour, it will begin to naturally "cook" the flesh. Marinate at room temperature for best flavor.

Desert Tequila Chicken: Cooking
Desert Tequila Chicken: Cooking Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

Desert Tequila Chicken: Cooking

There are actually two cooking procedures here. First you will cook the chicken in the oven and then you will pop it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin and give the chicken its rich appearance.

Desert Tequila Chicken: Ready to Serve
Desert Tequila Chicken: Ready to Serve Chef Larry Edwards/Casa de Cuisine

Desert Tequila Chicken: Ready to Serve

We love to serve this surrounded by some fresh sweet corn but you can also serve it over some wild rice or various types of pasta. If you want to get a little tropical, serve the chicken over slices of grilled pineapple!

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