Thursday, January 1, 2015

La Bandera (The Flag) Dominican Specialty

My brother served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Dominican Republic. He ate this meal almost every day (without the chicken) and he raved about how delicious it was. During my trip to OK, I asked him to teach me. It took us a couple of hours to make this meal but the results were sumptuous!

La Bandera (The Flag)
5lb chicken breasts
Soy sauce 
2-3 cans Goya red beans, undrained
1 bulb garlic
1 Anaheim pepper
Knorr chicken bouillon
1 package Shallots (3-4 count)
Garlic paste
Brown sugar
Maggi Sazón Completo

First: peel and crush garlic - my brother uses a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic. It takes some time to crush it. I also use this mincer to mince the garlic - which is MUCH easier than the pilón. Cut off top of Anaheim pepper. Tap pepper upside-down to remove seeds. Slice and dice Anaheim pepper. Peel shallots. Slice and dice shallots. Put garlic, pepper, and shallots in a bowl and stir them up. Stir in two tablespoons of chicken bouillon and a little Sazón Completo.

This is the mortar and pestle (pilón) that Coulter bought in the DR.

Chicken Bouillon 

Maggi Sazón Completo modeled by my son, Silas. 

Cut fat off from chicken breasts. Cut chicken into inch-sized chunks. Put chicken in large bowl and cover with water and 1/3-1/2 cup of soy sauce. Crack some pepper on top of the chicken. Stir. If you have some garlic paste, stir in two tablespoons. 

Cook two cups of rice with four cups of water. Add two tbsp of olive oil and 1-2 tsp salt to the water. Add 2-3 tbsp of chicken bouillon to water. Boil water until water level is equal with rice, stirring occasionally. Turn to low and cover with lid. Cook for 30-45 minutes.

***Another option is to use your rice cooker. Put in 2 cups of rice and add 3 1/2 cups of water. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 1-2tsp salt. Stir in 2-3 tbsp of chicken bouillon to the water. I will sometimes add a spoonful of the garlic/pepper/shallot mixture to the rice. Then push the button for cooking rice. This is much easier than on the stove top. 

In a large skillet, put two tbsp olive oil. Turn to medium-high heat. Add most of the garlic, pepper, and shallot mixture to the skillet. Brown until tender. Add cans of red beans (undrained) and then fill up one can of beans halfway with water and stir that in. Sprinkle in some salt and some Sazón Completo. Stir in a cilantro bunch - don't cut it, just put it in as it is. Cover with a lid and wait for it to come to a boil. After it begins to boil, use a flat-bottomed cup to smash the beans for 3-5 minutes. Cover with a lid. Wait ten minutes and then repeat smashing the beans. Wait another ten minutes and repeat. Remove bunch of cilantro from pan and throw away. 

***Another option for making the beans is to follow the instructions above, except you take one can of the red beans, undrained, and put in a food processor. After you take the cilantro out of the beans, stir in the processed beans. This way you can omit smashing the beans like the above instructions. 

In a large electric skillet, thinly coat the bottom with olive oil. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the oil. Cook brown sugar and oil on 350 degrees for five minutes or until brown sugar turns black and begins smoking. Grab a handful of the chicken from the bowl, letting the marinade run off a little, and put in electric skillet to form a single layer. Sprinkle with brown sugar. You can add a tablespoon or two of the garlic, pepper, shallot mixture to the chicken. Flip over chicken to cook on both sides. Sprinkle more brown sugar on top of chicken. PLEASE NOTE: if you put the lid of the electric skillet on while the chicken is cooking, it will not develop a sweet thick sauce coating on the chicken. Resist the urge to use the lid. I speak from experience. 

After the rice is cooked, scoop out most of the rice - leaving a thin layer of cooked rice on the bottom. Return the pot to medium heat and cook the rice until crispy. (Optional step)

Crispy rice. 

Finished product: rice

Sliced avocado. 

Brown sugar chicken. 


Slice up some bananas. 

La Bandera = delicioso!
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