Cuban Chicken and Yams
- Yield: servings
- 1pound chicken tenders cut into bite sized pieces
- 1-- crushed garlic clove
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 1/2teaspoon pepper
- 1tablespoon lime juice
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1cup chopped onion
- 3cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 in pieces
- 2tablespoons water
- 1/4cup brown sugar
- 1/4teaspoon ground chile pepper (like cayenne, arbol or piquin)
- 1teaspoon salt
- 1can coconut milk (13 14 ounces)
- 1teaspoon lime zest
- 2tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1teaspoon orange zest
- 3tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2tablespoons tamarind juice concentrate (available in freezer section of groceries or as bottle in Latin themed grocery stores)
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4cup long grain white rice
- 1/4cup quinoa (or orzo pasta)
- 1/3cup chopped red bell pepper (from jar is okay)
- 1tablespoon capers
- 1pinch (1/8 tsp) saffron
- 2cups chicken broth
- 1/4cup Mexican crema or light sour cream
- 2/3-- chopped roasted cashew nuts
- 1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro
Trim the chicken breast tenders and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl with 1 garlic clove (pushed through a press), 1 tblsp olive oil, salt, pepper and 1 tblsp fresh lime juice. Cover and set aside.
Heat 3 qt skillet on medium heat and add 2 tblsp olive oil. Add chopped onion and heat 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and water, then cover for 4-5 minutes.
In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, ground chile, salt, coconut milk, lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, orange juice, and tamarind concentrate. Stir, then add to onion-sweet potatoe mixture. Add chicken and bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 min.
Heat a sauce pan with 1 tblsp olive oil. Add rice, quinoa, saffron, roasted peppers, salt and capers. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Add 2 cups chicken broth and bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes (until water is absorbed and rice is tender).
When chicken is finished cooking, remove from heat, then stir in crema. On wide shallow bowls, place a circle of rice pilaf, then put a large scoop of the chicken mixture in the center. Garnish with fresh cilantro and chopped cashews.
Story behind recipe: I lived in Miami, Florida for 7 years– during which time my culinary world exploded with an amazing array of latin flavors. I later moved to Texas and married a Mexican-American man. This dish represents my favorite latin food memories from Miami– fresh citrus, tangy tamarind, tender sweet potatoe, creamy coconut milk, and soothing safron. It's a perfect background for chicken.