cuban chicken This is a meal befitting a communist dictator – or you! Now that the weather is warming up, I can’t help but crave the tangy, refreshing flavors of lime, mint and cilantro. This is an easy, rewarding meal that makes you want to forfeit your civil rights and float on a door to paradise.

Serves: 2 baseball loving Yanks
Total Kitchen Time: 40 mins

Shopping List:

  • 1 whole organic, free-range, hormone-free, sustainably-farmed, middle-class, democratic chicken
  • *Special equipment: cast iron skillet or oven-proof skillet

Marinade:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cilantro
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh black pepper
  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in your food processor or blender. If you don’t have either, I hope you have a sharp knife and patience.
  2. Butterfly the chicken by removing the spine with kitchen shears and cracking the sternum with your hands. For more information, get Jacques Pepin’s book. I know you won’t.
  3. Marinate the chicken from 0-8 hours (really, you can just brush this stuff on) making sure both sides of the bird are nicely coated.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 and set the rack to the middle-top position. Get your skillet nice and hot and give it a minute to retain the heat.
  5. Place the bird, breast side down, in the skillet and cook about 3 minutes. Transfer the whole skillet to the oven and cook until the thickest part of the meat reads 145 on your thermometer (about 20 minutes).
  6. Flip the bird over and crank your oven up to broil. Broil 5-7 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and brown. Let stand 5-10 minutes before carving.

Candied Jalapeno

  • 5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  1. Pour the sugar and water into a small sauce pan over high heat.
  2. When the water starts to boil, add the sliced jalapeno. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook about 15 minutes. Don’t let the sugar reach the soft boil stage – it should stay slightly watery even at the end.
  3. Transfer jalapeno slaw to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Fried Plantains:

  • 4 plantains, cut into 1/2 in sections (you can substitute bananas if you want)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced plantains, brown sugar and cinnamon. Saute, flipping to coat with butter, about 15 minutes.
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