Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tequila-Lime Chicken with Fried Plantains

I'm baaaaack.

Yes, I know. I've been away for far too long. But in my defense, I've had several job interviews (yaaay), have been doing some part-time editorial assisting (yaaay), babies have been born in the family (yaaay!!) and I have been sick on and off for the past couple weeks (booo) — and thus did not have the time and energy to blog.

Not that I haven't been cooking/eating. See? Here's proof:

Carrot Cake for cake balls {post coming soon}
Mocha chocolate chip cookies
Chicken salad from The Lemp Mansion cafe

BBQ Brisket sandwich from The Lemp Mansion cafe 
Divine French onion soup from The Lemp Mansion cafe.
Perfect mango

Roasted butternut squash
The only artichoke pesto you'll ever want.

Darla is doing well also, in case you were wondering...
Though she's questioning her fashion sense.
Anyway, a little while ago Justin and I decided to branch out of our typical Italian-style dinner and go Central/South American. Fried plantains and rice were the inspiration, and because Justin is an excellent chicken roaster, we thought we'd put a saucy spin on his signature dish with tequila-lime chicken.

For the rice:
1 cup long grain rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 serrano pepper
1 sprig cilantro
1/2 tsp salt

For the beans:
2-3 cups dried pinto beans
2 bay leaves
1 bell pepper
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tsp oregano

For the chicken:
1 2-3 lb whole chicken
3 tbsp tequila-lime seasoning
butcher's twine
roasting pan


  1. Soak the beans overnight in a big bowl of water. Drain. Either in a slow cooker or in a heavy-bottomed pot, put in the beans and other ingredients (I cut the bottom off the green bell pepper, you can use about half if you like), and fill the pot with water so that you cover the beans by a couple inches. Simmer for 4-5 hours or until the beans have soaked up the water and they're soft. You may have to add more water as you go. Disclaimer: Don't salt your beans. It'll mess up the cooking process. You can salt them once they're cooked.

2. Pluck out the bay leaves and pepper before serving.
3. For the chicken, smother the meat with the seasoning and roast the chicken at 425 for about an hour.
4. For the rice: combine the chicken broth, rice, the tip of a serrano pepper (don't put the seeds in), salt, and cilantro sprig in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Turn off the heat and let the rice absorb the broth for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
5. For the plantains: Fry them up for 2 minutes on each side in some olive oil. Salt them when they come out.

Plantains are starchier and not as sweet as bananas. With the rice and chicken, they lend a hint of creaminess and crunch with a subtle sweetness that goes very well with the spice of the rice and beans. 


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