Monday, August 10, 2015

Cuban Chicken

This is another quick and easy meal - I learned this one from my Aunt Shirlee who has lived in Florida for years.  I travel back and forth to Tampa to visit her AND to get my hands on some of those wonderful "Cuban" sandwiches AND to chow down on Cuban food - my favorite being Chicken and Yellow Rice. 

Pollo Cubano y Arroz Amarillo 

con Frijoles Negro y Plátanos

(Cuban Chicken and Yellow Rice with Black Beans and Fried Plantains)
serves 4

2 T olive oil
2 whole chicken breasts (I cut mine into bite-sized pieces
3.5 cups hot water or chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 10 oz package yellow rice
1/2 lb frozen peas
2 roasted peppers, chopped OR 1/4 c. chopped Spanish olives

Brown the  chicken in oil in a deep skillet with a lid until golden on all sides.  Remove to a plate, sprinkle with S/P, keep warm.

Pour the water into the skillet, add the garlic and scrape up the chicken bits that are stuck to the pan (deglaze).  Add the rice and chicken and give it a stir.  Reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid (about 20 minutes).

Add the frozen peas and the chopped peppers (or olives) and cook another five minutes.

You can complete the meal with a drained can of black beans (cooked with onion and green bell pepper that have been sauteed, garlic, some of the roasted red pepper, a splash of vinegar, a tsp of sugar and S/P)  and fried plantains (peel, slice, fry 3-4 minutes per side, take them out of the pan and smush them down with a plate, dip in water, and then fry them again 1 min per side.  Dust with salt.)

NOTE:  If beans present a "gassy" problem, try cooking them with a sprig of epazote (a Mexican herb). Epazote, like the Indian herb asafoetida, has a strong taste, but the other spices in Latino cooking diminish that flavor. Remove the sprig before serving.  Or sprinkle a few drops of liquid Beano on them before serving and stir in. Beans are good for you, though, so eat them!! Beans contain sugars that we cannot digest. We are missing an enzyme that is required to break down these sugars. When the beans get to the colon, the bacteria in the colon begins to ferment those sugars and produce gas in the process.  Gradually increase the amount of beans you eat over several weeks, combined with rice. The benefit of eating more of these sugars in beans is that it promotes the growth of intestinal bacteria, and these bacteria create an environment in the colon that lowers the risk for cancer.

The CP who was able to decipher the clues and guess the dinner was klpentec-IN

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