Every time I go to the supermarket and see those big, perfectly green banana’s plantain I wonder what people must think of these exotic items which can be tricky to consume.
Although its origin is Asia and Africa, one of the few nice things colonisation inherited my dear Venezuela was the arrival of this wonderful fruit.
Cooking a Banana plantain can be challenging mostly when you try to introduce it to European crowds that are used to see it in African preparations that are not necessarily as appealing as in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Since I come from the coast line region of Venezuela, the strong influence of some African communities that have remained in some of the most beautiful beach lands in earth, it is a traditional thing for me to have ‘Patacones’ beach style which are the perfect snack after some sea or sun bathing…
Few weeks ago I had the pleasure of receiving some Venezuelans friends home and in the sake of making some local dishes to celebrate our gathering, it came in hand to prepare some patacones while the men were in total suspense watching the Final match of the Rolland Garros French tennis international championship.
My friend Maritza (@MaritzaMaestre), a very fashionable Venezuelan swim suit designer kindly offered to transmit her culinary knowledge to teach me how to adapt the original recipe to European conditions so here I share it with all you guys…
Chicken white fresh cheese Patacones:
Difficulty level: low-medium
Active time: 50min
Serves: 4 to 6 people
- 2 bananas plantain very green.
- 2 chicken breast
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 7 green olives
- 1/3 cup of coriander
- 2 aji dulce (sweet pepper if you find, sometimes you can find it dehydrated)
- 200 grs of white fresh cheese ( You can find it in some exotic food shop) or you can you Feta instead.
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup of olive oil plus 2 table spoon for chicken.
For the bananas:
1. Peel and cut the bananas in cylinders of approximately 4 cmt.
2. Using good quality olive oil in medium-high heat (or in a fryer if you have one) proceed to cook the bananas until golden aprox. 5 min each side
3. Once the bananas are one side golden turn them around
4. When golden get them out of the skillet and place them in a flat-safe surface to start the ‘ smashing’. Using a kitchen hammer or any round flat heavy resistant object you have in hand take each banana piece and ‘flat’ it.
5. Put them back in the hot skillet with oil and fried them again until they get a gold crust surface.
For the chicken:
1. Marinate the chicken using for favourite spices, We used salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce (Salsa Inglesa) and included the olives.
2.Cut the red pepper, onion. Put them in a hot pan with the olive oil to create a ‘sofrito’.
3. While the chicken is cooking, take the fresh cheese and grate the cheese.
4. Once the chicken is tender cut it into small pieces. salt the bananas and top it with the cheese and chicken topping or mix them if you like.
You can also use minced meat and cheddar cheese. In Venezuela people likes to put ketchup and mayonnaise as a final touch but it is not something that would fit the French crowd 😉
I hope you enjoy them!