Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tostone with Braised Chicken

First off, I would like to thank everyone who reads this blog and those of you that have your say at the end of every post.  I appreciate the interaction.  Regularly I field many questions after my posts about anything from what produce I use, to questions about sustainable fish, or where to find organic cheeses.  If you ever want more information, please do not hesitate to ask.  Send me an email at lazarocooksATgmail.com, I respond to every query.

Additionally, if you are on facebook, send me a friends request to my private page.  It's a good way of getting to know you better.  Most replies get accepted.

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Onward to the business at hand...

Welcome to Mash-up Saturday

I am not a traditionalist by any stretch.  I am a deconstructionist .  I love reinventing or reconceptualizing dishes. 

One of my favorite chefs out there is David Chang.  That dude is a mash-up specialist.  He doesn't care if something is Chinese, French, Italian, Thai, or whatnot; if it tastes good it makes it on his plate.  If you study his dishes, he may have 5 nationalities blended on one plate.  It is in this spirit that I offer this course today.

Plantains are used a lot in Caribbean cooking, especially Cuba.  While sweet bananas are generally eaten raw, plantains require cooking.  With their high starch content, plantains can be cooked much in the same manner as a potato.  Tostones are fried mashed green unripe plantains.  Normally Tostones is an accompanier, a sidekick, a tag-along.  Here, I make it the central part of a fantastic first course.

After peeling the plantain, you fry them for 2 minutes at 350 F to soften.  Then most people use a Tostonera, a wood kitchen contraption, to flatten their tostones.  I like to use my hands.  Using a few sheets of plastic wrap, I push down and flatten the plantain.  Using my hands gives me much better control.  Since the tostone is the base of this dish, I must get as much surface area as possible.  Once flattened, return to the oil and fry for 5 minutes until golden and crispy.

I am a chicken leg man.  My brilliant wife won't eat them, she must have the white meat.  I've railed enough against this so I'll move on.  Organic free-range legs were made for braising.  Drop them in a bath of white wine, acid, herbs, and aromatics.  Cook low and slow.

Alright enough talking, lets build some flavor...


Tostone:  Fried, flattened, and fried a second time.  My good friend Tanantha from I Just Love My Apron let me know that I was becoming a tired cliche with my repeated use of peanut oil to fry stuff.  So, these were fried in CORN OIL.  See how unpredictable I can be?!


Fresh from Florida...SlimCado Puree.  Not to be confused with a Hass Avocado.  We can come up with our own wacky marketing LABELS too. Small dice roasted pimenton.



MUST, MUST, MUST component.  Yellow onions pickled in my super secret marinade.  I could tell you what it is but why ruin a wonderful mystery?


Here is our moist Organic Free-Range Braised Chicken.


A generous drizzle of my devilishly sinful concoction of Miso Mayo, fish sauce, ponzu sauce, plum vinegar, sesame oil, bird's eye chilies, and lemongrass.

Tostone with Braised Chicken


Garnish with fresh chervil and top with the Crispy chicken skin.

If this course doesn't get your dinner party moving, check the pulse of your guests, they may be dead!

That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!

40 comments:

  1. Yum- I love plantains but have never tried the green mashed version-
    I really love the unique layers you create in this dish- and to top it off with crispy chicken skin- double yum!

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  2. Another beautiful yet totally new dish to me. How do you come up with such wonderful creations Lazaro. I especially loved that the free range chicken legs were braised. Braising is such a great way to add such lovely flavors isn't it? Haha, thanks for changing it up with the corn oil (wink). Have a great weekend Lazaro!

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  3. Loving your "devilishly sinful concoction" here!

    btw, today, the first time in a long time I didn't make chicken breasts and got a lot of grief for it :)

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  4. That sounds fantastic! The hardest part of it all is finding friends to invite over to enjoy this ;-)

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  5. Well that's what a Chef makes, constantly constructing and deconstructing to perfection, either you have it or you don't. I do agree the onion must add a special something! Great presentation, as always!

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  6. Unpredictable as always, Lazaro! ;)

    I love tostones! although I never knew what they were called before. They're one of my favorite meal accompaniments whenever we travel to Bonaire in the Caribbean. They are, however, nowhere near as creative as your version. I'll be on the lookout for plantains!

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  7. Tostones! One of the best foods in the entire world IMHO. This looks totally delicious Lazaro. I agree with your wife about the chicken breasts but leg meat is best for dishes like this. I could totally eat this for breakfast,

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  8. This looks awesome! I love all the components that you have going on here and the miso mayo...I have got to try it! I like the little Asian flavor added there. (great change up using corn oil) hehehe!

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  9. I've never tried a plantain. This concoction looks pretty interesting and I like many of your ingredients. So, now I am curious to give this a try but I think I need the secret marinade for the yellow onions, lol;-) Nice job on this dish and introducing me, once again, to something new!

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  10. I love chicken leg too and this dish looks so delicious. Very creative.

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  11. Lazaro, this looks so good! Very yummy!

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  12. A great, creative dish; it sounds just wonderful and so different=I love different!...Happy weekend!

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  13. What a great idea to build on a side dish and turn it into a main. Each layer sounds so delicious. I like Dadvid Chang, too. He knows good food!

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  14. I can't be a true Mimian without learning to make tostones, Lazaro! It's so strange, I am inventing some appetizers for a tropical cocktail party and only yesterday decided to use the tostone as a base for a yummy topping! Yours looks deeee lish as always! After living in Sydney for 10 years and being introduced to so many ethnic foods, I too, love a good mash up of styles! Well done!

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  15. PS: I am intrigued by the miso mayo. Is this something you make yourself or buy?

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  16. Wonderful and creative! It looks delicious!

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  17. How creative Lazaro. Love your concoction. You're making me miss my island home with that plantain.
    Have a great weekend.
    Sam

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  18. I love anything with plaintains - but this looks like a superlative combination - er, mash-up - flavors. Thanks, as always, for the inspiration, Lazaro!

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  19. another unique wonderful display of perfection love this!

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  20. oooh lala love this sinful concoction... i love the last part the best: topping it with crispy chicken skin. Great way to enjoy the weekend huh!
    Enjoy!
    Malou

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  21. This looks so sophisticated integrating different flavors such as the pickled onions and the miso mayo. I'll also have to try your chicken poaching method.

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  22. LOL - I can't believe Tanantha told you that!!! Anyway, I am resolutely a fan of peanut oil for frying. Why?? FLAVOR!!

    The dressing is indeed wicked - wickedly good. I love how you've skillfully pulled together so many culinary infleunces and elements in this dish.

    The chicken skin on top - I can only dream of *sigh* A truly beautiful dish, visually and gastronomically!

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  23. ...the last photo...what's not to like? I love tostones...and you did them proud!

    Carmen

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  24. Gosh you are so unpredictable! Corn oil. You are one crazy mofo :P

    I love tostones. Love. Tostones. I want this meal. Immediately.

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  25. Chicken legs are the best part! Chicken breasts may be "healthier" (not even by much) but they're so easily cooked dry. :S

    This looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  26. I agree, deconstructing dishes is so much fun. I love all the different layers of flavor and texture in this -- and it's gorgeous too!

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  27. Oh my goodness, these tostones look absolutely amazing and I agree, I'm a brown meat person. If we ask really nicely can we get the recipe for the pickled onions?

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  28. I loved learning more about Plantain. Great step by step process of the dish. beautifully presented!

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  29. This, quite simply put, makes me weak with hunger! I can always count on you to add to my culinary want-to-makes! Thanks so much!

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  30. haha you're funny Laz! I'm just curious about peanut oil :) I like the plantain and David Chang!! He doesn't care what it's from or is. As long as it tastes good he will add it to his food. Secret marinade? C'mon, share with us! I like dark meat too. We can party up with Audi and Bella! The drizzled sauce, from ingredients I've seen here, it's money! This will be good for a party food. Thanks! Look forward to the tomorrow cake.

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  31. Me Likey!

    From the Wata-ca-tion

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  32. Alex,

    Wata-ca-tion to the make buddy! No doubt.

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  33. T,

    When and where does the party begin? Audi and I will be there and bring all our secrets!

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  34. Can't wait to try this...we love plantains! What a great mash-up this must be! Fun to make and I love your layers of flavor.

    Just finished Tony Bourdain's book and he spends an entire chapter on David Chang.

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  35. wow I love tostones add your incredible flavors and wow ya got yourself a major flavor party!! great recipe,

    sweetlife

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  36. Chicken legs are my favorite and the wings as well. This is a lovely dish with the tostones and the SlimCado puree and the miso mayo, very creative.
    My son just brought me a David Chang cookbook, him and his girlfriend just visited his restaurant in New York.

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  37. Another obra from a deconstructor maestro! Its like a carribean version of the roast chicken duck in chinese pancakes... love this version

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  38. Oh thanks for showing me some great use of plantain! I can feel some energy reading your post :o)lots of magic ingredients in there too, Love it, and I agree with you as long as it tastes good, why bother.

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  39. I haven't tasted this Tostone with Braised Chicken. It looks so tasty and the chicken is just so perfect. I wish someday I can taste that very tasty dish.

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  40. Adding my 2 cents...genius to use pickled onions to cut the richness of the avocado and a little crispy skin on top is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

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