"Instead of bland, it's spicy and fragrant with flavors of lime and citrus which are natural, healthy and add zing."
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 Allrecipes.com. 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
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
1 pound dry small black beans
1/2 gallon water
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.