06/04/06

Cuban Fried Chicken on Latin Chopped Salad

Serves 6

Cuban Fried Chicken
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 3 limes
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 grapefruit
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch by 3-inch strips
Vegetable oil or trans-fat free shortening for frying
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Latin Chopped Salad
1 bag ready-to-eat mixed greens
1 cup garbanzo beans
1 cup calypso beans or red beans
1 medium zucchini, cut in half, grilled, and diced
1 cup diced tomatoes
2 ears grilled corn, cut off the cob
Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette (see recipe), to taste
1/2 cup crumbled Cabrales blue cheese, for garnish
1 to 2 avocados, diced, for garnish
Fried plantain chips, for garnish

For the Cuban Fried Chicken: To make a marinade, place the cumin seeds in a dry pan and toast over medium heat, shaking the pan until the aroma of the seeds is released, about 1 minute. To a blender, add the toasted seeds along with the garlic, salt, pepper, and citrus juices. Blend to combine thoroughly. Transfer marinade to a large bowl. Immerse the chicken strips in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready to cook the chicken, place the flour in a shallow baking dish. Remove the marinated chicken strips from the bowl and dredge them in the flour. Set aside.

Heat 1/2- to 3/4-inch of vegetable oil or shortening in a large, heavy pan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. In batches, place chicken in the pan and fry 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from oil and place on a rack over a platter lined with paper towels to drain.

For the Latin Chopped Salad: In a large mixing bowl, combine the mixed greens, beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. Add Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette to taste and toss thoroughly.

To Serve: Divide Latin Chopped Salad evenly between six chilled dinner plates. Top with Cuban Fried Chicken strips, crumbled Cabrales blue cheese, avocado, and plantain chips. Serve immediately.

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