Monthly Archive for April, 2021

Cuban Chicken Casserole; Garlicy Green Beans w/ Chives and Red Bell Pepper

Cuban chicken casserole1

Cuban chicken casserole2

Garlicy green beans1

Garlicy green beans2

I’ve been cooking my way through some recipes from a cookbook on Mexican, South American and Caribbean food. The Cuban chicken casserole recipe sounded delicious. With the pureed corn topping and the combination of other ingredients that I really enjoy, I had to find out how the finished product would taste. Well, it tasted fantastic! The corn crust and raisins added a touch of sweetness to balance w/ all the savory ingredients. I will definitely be making this again! It will be a great dish to serve when I have a few friends over for dinner. 

The green bean recipe is something I put together to have a vegetable side that would pair up well w/ the casserole. 

Goes well w/ both a Vouvray from the Loire region of France or a Cotes du Rhone white that’s Viognier dominant. 

Cuban Chicken Casserole (adapted from The Complete Mexican, South American & Caribbean Cookbook by Milton, Fleetwood and Filippelli)

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)

1 pound chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)

1 celery stalk (cut in large pieces)

2 carrots (cut in large pieces)

2 bay leaves

5 cloves 

10 black peppercorns

1 large yellow onion (medium dice)

2 tomatoes (medium dice)

2 hard-boiled eggs (chopped)

1/2 cup pitted green olives (chopped)

1/2 cup raisins

1 tablespoon bottled capers (drained)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt 

For the topping:

3 cups corn kernels (I used canned)

1 teaspoon sugar 

3 eggs (beaten)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter 

salt and black pepper

Procedure:

1) Cut chicken breasts in half and trim fat off thighs; Place bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns in cheesecloth pouch and tie closed.

2) Put chicken, spice pouch, celery and carrots in a large pot, cover w/ water and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove chicken from liquid and let cool before shredding. (You can save the poaching liquid, celery and carrots for soup).

3) Make the topping: Puree corn kernels in food processor. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat; stir in pureed corn and sugar, add salt to taste, then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens and comes away from sides of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes then slowly stir in the eggs a little at a time. 

4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

5) Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent. Remove from heat. Fold in the hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives, capers, raisins, shredded chicken and red pepper flakes. Salt to taste. Make sure ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture. 

6) Spoon the mixture into a deep 8 x 10 baking dish and press it down to level out. Spread the corn topping over the top of the mixture w/ a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes until golden brown, rotating front to back halfway through the baking (it took about an hour in my oven for the topping to get nicely browned). Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes before serving. 

Yield: 6 servings

Garlicy Green Beans w/ Chives and Red Bell Pepper

Ingredients:

3/4 pounds green beans (ends trimmed if necessary)

1 red bell pepper (seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise)

3 large garlic cloves (pressed)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon fresh chives (cut into 1 inch pieces)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper

Procedure:

1) Bring a pot of water to a boil and add green beans and cook for 5 minutes until beans are tender. Strain beans in a colander.

2) Over medium heat, melt butter in a large pan then add olive oil. 

3) Add the garlic and saute’ for 1 minute, then add the bell pepper, chives and oregano and saute’ until bell pepper softens (approx. 5 minutes). Add the green beans, continue to saute’ for another minute to warm the beans. Salt and pepper to taste. 

Yield: 3 servings

 

Please get vaccinated so we can get past this pandemic. To your health…

Bruno