First taste of The Perfectly Roasted Chicken (Kyle Books, June 2013, paperback edition) by Mindy Fox was Curried Chicken Salad with Golden Raisins, Lime and Honey let's move from India to Cuba.
Cuban Rice with Chicken
Some say this dish is from Cuba, others claim Spain. Either way, it’s one of the best brunches I know. The combination of sweet (from the skillet-cooked banana) and savory (chicken, rice, tomato sauce, and egg) may seem unusual, but, in fact, it works brilliantly. Serve this with a pot of café con leche.
1 cup long-grain white rice
Fine sea salt
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin
2 large scallions, or 4 skinny ones, trimmed
and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Heaping 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
11/2 cups small shreds roast chicken
2 large firm-ripe bananas
4 large eggs
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Let the rice sit, uncovered for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Drain the tomatoes, reserving the juices for another use. Combine the tomatoes and garlic in a blender and purée until the salsa is smooth. Add a pinch of sugar to sweeten, if desired.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, oregano, and cumin. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute, then add the chicken and a pinch of salt, stir well, and cook for 1 minute more. Add to the rice and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning, then cover to keep warm.
Peel the bananas and cut them in half crosswise, then cut again in half lengthwise. Wipe the skillet dry with a paper towel, then add 2 teaspoons oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the banana pieces, flat-side down, and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and cook for 30 seconds more. Transfer to a plate.
Wipe the skillet dry and fry the eggs in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the rice onto 4 individual plates and top each with an egg. Serve with the bananas and salsa.
(* Recipe from 'The Perfectly Roasted Chicken' by Mindy Fox, published by Kyle Books, June 2013- photography by Ellen Silverman)