Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Cuban Chicken & Black Bean Quinoa Bowls

Quinoa and black beans topped with spicy, tangy chicken, mango, and fried chili bananas!

I cannot speak to the authenticity of this dish that is dubbed Cuban, but I can speak to how delicious it is. I know that not everyone thinks fruit goes with savory dishes, but I feel like those people haven't tried the right dish. I personally love fruit in savory dishes, but I have to admit that I wasn't sure about bananas in a savory dish because I don't really like bananas a ton. However, my skepticism was met with surprise and I enjoyed every component of this dish: the seasoning on the chicken, the quinoa and black beans, and the bananas and mango. It was amazing! I did make a slight adaptation with subbing lemon juice in for the orange juice because my oldest is allergic to oranges.

What you need:
For the chicken:
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 red chile, seeded
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • Juice of 4 limes and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
For the black beans and quinoa:
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus some
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the bananas and mango:
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • Chili powder
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 red chile, seeded and diced
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For the mojo sauce:
  • Half of the marinade
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter 
  • Chopped cilantro
  1. For the chicken: Add cumin, garlic, red chile, pepper, 3/4 cup lemon juice, lime juice, lime zest, honey, soy sauce, and cilantro to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth. Then split in half.
  3. Place half in a zipper bag or bowl with chopped chicken. Toss to coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes at least to marinate. Reserve other half.
  4. For the black beans and quinoa: In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until onion is softened.
  5. Add red bell pepper and quinoa. Cook for 5 more minutes until pepper is soft and quinoa is lightly toasted.
  6. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and fluffy.
  7. Scoot the cooked quinoa to the side and add a drizzle of oil if needed. Then add black beans, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through.
  8. For the bananas and mango: Add coconut oil to a nonstick skillet and melt over medium to medium-high heat. 
  9. Add banana slices and season with chili powder. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until browned. Reduce heat if browning too quickly. Remove to a plate and season with salt.
  10. In a bowl, mix together mango, red chile, lime juice, and cilantro.
  11. For the chicken: Add a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Cook chicken in two batches.
  12. For the mojo sauce: After chicken is done and set aside with foil tented over the top, add remaining half of marinade and 1/4 cup lemon juice to the skillet.
  13. Bring to a boil and then add 2 Tbsp. butter. Cook for about 5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Stir in cilantro.
  14. For serving, divide quinoa and black beans between bowls. Top with chicken, bananas, and mango. Drizzle with mojo sauce.
Recipe from Half Baked Harvest

Another Cuban dish that I have been eyeing lately is this Cuban-Style Roast Porkf from Simply Recipes that would be so cook for Cuban sandwiches. If you like mangoes with savory foods, I recommend this Bacon BBQ and Mango Pizza recipe that is the perfect amount of sweet, salty, and smokey.

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