Downtown Miami, around Flagler Street has really great Cuban restaurants serving authentic food, made by ‘off the boat’ Cubans. This was my introduction to Cuban food and I am ashamed to say, I slightly took them for granted, as they were numerous and very available. At the time, we could not travel from the States to Cuba, so it gave us an insight into this elusive country. Pictures on the walls of 1950s cars and beautiful buildings, set the scene and if I closed my eyes, the aromas and flavours made me feel like I was there for just a moment.
Since coming over to the UK, I have hunted down good Cuban recipes, as there I am yet to find a Cuban restaurant here (certainly a bar calling itself Cuba but serving Mexican food lol). This is one that has become a regular summer dish, with bright citrus flavours. It has been a good dish to serve younger family members, who are nervous of trying international food, as it is not in your face spicy, just bright citrusy flavor.
WINE NOTE: Voignier is quite a good wine to pair with this as it has a bright fruity citrus that matches the fruity citrus flavors of the marinade. A Sicilian unoaked chardonnay
POLLO FRITO A LA CRIOLLA
3lbs bone in chicken pieces
4 large garlic cloves, peeled,
1 tsp fried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly squeezed sour orange juice or equal part lime & orange juice
1 large yellow onion thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil plus more if needed
1/2 cup dry white wine
Place chicken and sliced onions in a large dish.
Mash the garlic, oregano, cumin, salt & pepper to a paste in a pestle & mortar. Stir in the orange juice. Pour over the chicken with the sliced onions & cover. Place in the fridge overnight or at least 3 hours.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and reserve the marinade. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron ducth oven over medium high heat, until hot but not smoking. Brown the chicken on both sides in batches, 2-3mins each side. Replenish oil as needed. Keep chicken pieces warm. Pour away oil until 2 tbsp remain. Saute the reserved onions until soft & translucent, approx 5 mins. Stir in the reserved marindae & wine and bring to a simmer. Place the chicken back int he pan & cook partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through, 25-30 mins.