My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken and Cuban Black Beans

"Instead of bland, it's spicy and fragrant with flavors of lime and citrus which are natural, healthy and add zing."
~Elizabeth Simon

My son (the picky one) brought this chicken recipe home during his December break.  It was his new favorite and he wanted me to make it.  I obliged.  It is now a favorite of the whole family.  We liked it so much that I made a couple of big batches of the spice mix to have around since we'll be eating so much of it!  A friend made it for Curtis at school, but they got it from C. Perez, as it was posted on  I made a couple of changes, such as adding honey to the sauce to balance the acidity, and slicing the chicken breast halves in half so they are not so thick, and therefore cook through easier.  I will give you the recipe as I've tweaked it.  For the record, Curtis likes it done with the thick chicken breasts, and I suggest if you choose to keep the breast intact like that, that after browning them on each side, finish them for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven, so they cook all the way through.

The Cuban Black Beans recipe hails from my friend Kris, who lives in Hawaii and generously sent me a dozen great recipes.  She received it from a Cuban friend many years ago.  Wow, this dish was really delicious, and gratifying to make.  I will be making it many times in the future, for sure!  You need just a bit of forethought, as the dry beans require soaking overnight, then they must cook for three hours before your mealtime.  I just love dishes that simmer like that, especially in the winter.  It made the house smell so good all afternoon.  I halved the recipe since there were only three of us around, and that made a good amount for 4 people.  You could serve them with rice as the main meal and not be left wanting for anything.  They were really flavorful and satisfying.

Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken
Serves 4

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in half lengthwise, so they are not so thick.
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons honey

1. In a small bowl, mix together salt, black pepper, cayenne, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and parsley.  Sprinkle spice mixture generously on both sides of the chicken breasts.
2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.  Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and lime juice.  Cook 2 minutes, add honey, cook one minute more, stirring frequently to coat even sauce.

Cuban Black Beans
serves 8

1 pound dry small black beans
1/2 gallon water
6 pieces bay leaf
1 sliced onion
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 roasted,  peeled and chopped bell pepper (I used a red pepper)
3 slices fried, chopped Canadian bacon (I used leftover spiral ham)
1 stick butter

1. Soak beans in cold water overnight.  When ready to cook, drain and rinse.
2. Combine all ingredients in a 3-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot and simmer for 3 hours, stirring frequently. 
 I left the cover on for first half of cooking, then removed it and kept an eye on it as the liquid boiled down.
Cook's note:  To roast the pepper, set oven on broil, then place rack so pepper will be an inch from the element.  When skin turns black, turn pepper.  Remove from oven when all sides of the pepper have blackened skin.  
Place in a paper bag, close top and let it sit for half an hour.  When you remove the pepper, the skin will come right off.  Remove seed and chop.


Chow and Chatter said...

wow delicious meal

Bridgett said...

Wow, that chicken looks fabulous and all of those spices are right up my alley. The black beans are the perfect side. I definitely would love to try both of these recipes.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Chow: Thanks!

@Bridgett: Yes, the spices are great together and nothing exotic to hunt down...most folks have them in their cupboard already.

Nisrine|Dinners and Dreams said...

What a delicious chicken dish and gorgeous side to go with it. I will give it a go.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Nisrine: You won't be sorry! Thanks for visiting :-)

KDoucette said...

Oh Margaret, you did an outstanding job of presenting this wonderful dish as I remember it, and the chicken is just a great addition to kick it up a notch as Chef Emeril Lagasse says with that New Orleans emphasis on BANG!! Wowsa, kudos and much mahalo for giving me the credit!! Hugz!! xoxo

Raquelle said...

Can I ask how you add the honey to the chicken? You list it in your ingredients but you don't mention when/where to add it.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Raquelle: I add it to the sauce in the skillet right at the end of cooking. I'll go fix that right now...thanks!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Kris: Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Raquelle said...

Thanks so much! I definitely want to make this recipe, which is why I asked. :-)

Anna Johnston said...

I love the sound of this recipe, never had Cuban Black Beans before, must see if I can turn them up as I'd love to make this. Thanks for sharing :)

Corina Sonee said...

Wow.. I searched for "spicy lime chicken, cuba" and found this site/recipe. I got the ingredients and made it, except I used pork loin chops, and didn't have any Thyme.. This was more amazing than I expected!
It was exactly what I was looking for/craving! My mouth was literally watering at the first bite!
Thank you for sharing!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Wow...thanks for taking the time to tell me. It makes it all worth it when I know people are trying and liking the recipes. Thanks so much!