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A Classic Cuban House Chicken Sandwich (with POM!)

POMCubansandwich4Oh my gosh my friends! I know I’ve been seriously MIA for the last two weeks, but if you knew all I’ve been doing, I think you’d wonder why I’m not taking a longer break! This 2 week absence was not planned.

I think sometime this year I was commenting on how I need a personal assistant to keep me in order.  That need still exists  but I can’t find enough loot pay one full-time.  Either way, I did not anticipate August being this ludacris, but let me fill you in.

I went home to DC last week to celebrate my sister’s graduation from grad school. She got her Doctorate in Physical Therapy!! Woot Woot! So awesome witnessing lil sis do her thing!  All the energy of attending two ceremonies and hosting a mega al fresco party at my parents’ house, emotionally and physically spent me! Mami and I shut the kitchen down and made like 12 appetizers, while papi rocked out with some over the top sangria. He totally stole the show. Clearly, we had tons of lushes running around our patio.

I took advantage of being so close to Manhattan, and drove up to the City with some friends for a day of haggling and biting bites. We stopped at the most amazing Cuban café in Soho! Will most definitely have to blog about that later. The joint was the shiznit in all aspects! I wanted to jump over the small, quaint counter and start grilling pollo, maiz and carne! I won’t tell you the name just so you come back and hear my off the cuff, unplanned culinary experience. Just know it was well worth the hour wait on an early Sunday afternoon.

While in DC, I had a few meetings set up to visit the National Gallery of Art. They’ve got some exciting stuff going on over there I’ll have to share with as well! A 2nd impromptu meeting caused me to tickle and just soak in the great Capital City! You know both involved food, but on a level you can’t even imagine. Think TV, Spanish tapas, world-wide and ultra chic! Yeah, that trysts were all that and a bag of Kettle Chips!

BACK IN THE A.

Life here is a bit different. Slower, but engaging. As I get ready to move this week, into a much nicer, plush joint for a single gal, I have to muster energy and more importantly, time, to cook! With my kitchen being boxed away in cartons I hi-jacked from the grocery store, I have to get creative and make something appetizing. I swear those late night runs to the taco joint are just not cutting it.

What better way to stay satisfied, then to rely on good ol’ comfort food you grew up on? I’m talking about effortless food. Simple, yet powerful food! My siblings and I are able to boast an exceptional childhood in that mami fed us 3 times a day, 7 days a week. She made real food, from scratch, and never sacrificed quality for the sake of time. On days when she didn’t feel like being elaborate and sassy, she’d break out something completely unexpected and unscripted. Usually, those meals were just as good as the traditional, tried and true Cuban meals. Much of it is because they were unrestricted to recipes and measurements. They were free and limitless. And of course, saturated with pounds of love!

My favorite among those is a chicken sandwich. Don’t assume it’s a plane Maria chicken sandwich. You’d insult me! This sandwich is right there with the international popular Cuban Sandwich, with ham, pickles, etc… It’s basic, yes, but damn good and a great back-up.

I was inspired to make this yesterday. One because I didn’t have time to get all jiggy, two because I had one while at home last week (hadn’t bitten into one in months!) and three because I thought I’d play around with the marinade.

POMcubansanwichPOMCubansandwich2

As in most Cuban food, our meats are marinated in some sort of mojo. In this case, we simply season chicken breasts in fresh lemon juice with garlic and onion. Sometimes you’ll see a recipe call for orange juice. I got sassy today. I added something new, but something that would guarantee 5 stars!

POM juice! Yup, you know that semi-bitter, health kicker! I used that, alongside my lemon juice to marinade the chicken. I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but lo and behold, it was all good! The chicken naturally turned a bit brown while soaking, but that just gave it a nice browning when I flash fried it! The combination of the POM and lemon juice gave the chicken a bit more citrus-y bite, and actually tenderized it to perfect point. The Cuban bread element is a must, because if you’ve ever had Cuban bread you understand how amazing, flavorful and crispy it is. I love that local grocery stores bake it daily.

And you know what it also meant? The onions, which always have to make it into the skillet, were doused with POM juice, too! Those little suckers looked like they were sizzling with happiness! Do take note of the garlic chunks. Garlic simply makes everything better.

So, it being hump day, this will be my comfort food for the rest of the week as I finish packing;  quick enough to avoid a full out kitchen engagement and delicious enough to look forward to the next one!

The beauty of experimenting! Try it. I love how it seamlessly worked in a childhood meal! Go get you some POM (they’re on Twitter, too @pomonline) and incorporate into your cuisine, what ever it is.

HOW HAVE YOU USED POM Juice?

B’s Everyday Cuban Sandwich Soaked in POM Juice

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • salt to taste
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup POM juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1/2 small white onion, julienne
  • 1/2 loaf Cuban bread, toasted (about 6″  each)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil for drizzle
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 thick tomato slices

Method:

Remove excess fat from chicken breasts. Using mallet, thin out breasts. Place in medium bowl and season with salt, lemon juice, POM juice, garlic and onion. Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 mins. Cut Cuban bread open and toast. You can also grill on both sides, using stove top grill pan. Heat large skillet and add canola oil. Add chicken to skillet, including juices, onions and garlic. Cook chicken on both sides until brown, about 7 minutes, on medium-high heat. While chicken is cooking, drizzle both sides of bread with olive oil, enough to cover most of it. Transfer chicken, including all skillet juice and onions and garlic to bread. Top with tomato slices. Sprinkle crushed black pepper.

Serves 2.

Stay tuned for the biggest blog give-away EVA. If you follow me on Twitter, I’ve been kind of hinting toward the prize. I swear you all will be flabbergasted with the details. I urge to tune back on Sept. 1st to read all about it. You’ll be sorry you didn’t! 🙂 Plus, it happens to coordinate with my Hunger Lives No More (One Comment. One Eats.) campaign, so the more that visit and comment, the more food I’ll donate to a local food bank! Please read about it here.
**EDIT/UPDATE AT 2:08 PM**

I totally forgot to mention the WINNER of the GANACHE contest from the 2nd to last post!!! Deb, you have been randomly selected as the lucky winner!! No. 18, which was you, was picked! Thanks for your comment! I have your email and will contact you shortly to coordinate! Thanks to all that left comments and entered. Because of your time,  MUST Ministries now has 28 additional food items to use in preparing food for children in Georgia!

Picture 2

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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23 thoughts on “A Classic Cuban House Chicken Sandwich (with POM!)

  1. Is that a chicken breast sliced? The grain lloke more like meat whicj would work too. Love my POM. Great idea for a marinade and sandwich.

  2. That sandwich looks so good. There’s a new Afghani place on Little River Turnpike. We have got to go the next time you’re home. Michael and I ate there Friday night. The food was super tasty. It inspired me to make my own spin on it.

  3. This really does sound awesome Bren! Good luck with the move – this is a HOT time of year to be moving in Atlanta! Hope you have lots of handsome muscular men doing the work for you! Still wanna chat? Lemme know!

  4. Looks great. I’d make it. I love cuban bread & agree 100% abt infusing garlic & onion in most recipies..makes things better. i’ve only drank POM..but will do more soon now.

    good luck and congrats on your move.

  5. Bren like I said I would jump off the vege band wagon if I was around you making that sandwich. Dang it looks so good. I remember when I lived in Miami…Cuban heaven, and I always visited some Cuban restaraunt and yes…I ate meat at that time and laaawwwwdddd the cuban sandwich…my taste buds are quivering as I write this. Thanks for giving me an alternative to make my cuban sandwhich. BTW my sis is there in Miami now and she is bring me back my favorite Cuban pastry…guabana y con queso! Hope I said that right.LOL! My mouth is watering and she is having them special made.

    Can’t wait for your cook book and show to hit! Love ya chica..smooches

  6. Bren,
    Great sandwich and I love the utilization of POM juice..I use many juices in some of my reductions and dressings as well..Also if you need a late night snack, I know a great little cafe that you could call the chef and he will make anything you want, even if they are closed and he is still there.

  7. Yum! Yes the most basic is delicious at times. I love a juicy steak with just garlic, salt, and lime or bitter orange.

    In my opinion the best mojo I’ve had and mojo type marinades are with “Naranja Agria” (OMG talking about Naranja Agria I’m such a dork so today at school I got all excited I was walking by parking lot G3 at Cal State Northridge, and no way the orange tree near there is a “Bitter Orange” tree, there was a good amount on the floor, I was embarassed but grabbed like 3 of them and put them in my bag lol. now I know where to get some haha)

  8. Bren, this is one great looking meal. POM gives everything an unexpected but nice kick. Looking forward to your giveaway…its on our wedding anniversary!

  9. YUMMMMYYYYYY!!!! how i never know how just by a different touch in the onions made such a difference in a sandwich.. i made it for my boyfriend and i today and wat a gra8t choice thanks tia… love you
    keep it come slim

  10. It sure looks great! … and POM? that’s a winnner. Can’t wait to sink my teeth on one of those.

  11. Try it, please, I urge you! Such a great everyday sandwich that won’t disappoint you! POM was something I just happened to have sitting around and decided to get sassy. It worked! Thanks for the compliments on the pics. Taken on my porch! 🙂

  12. Your sandwich looks amazing! I use POM in martinis (of course!) and I love making a pomegranate vinaigrette for salads and marinades with fresh mint.

  13. That’s chicken..Dang! That looks good!! I bet it won’t look as good if I try to make it so I’ll just have to order it at your restaurant one day!! I’ve been seeing one in my visions lately 🙂

  14. No question is supposed to be stupid right? How does Cuban bread differ that everyday bread we get here in north America?

    I assume you need a crusty sort of bread to get the true nature of the sandwich?

    Happy Coking!

  15. It’s lunch time now and looking at your Cuban sandwich makes me wonder if I should give up my diet and just eat, eat and eat:)) Seriously, it looks so good!!

  16. Hi Bren,
    Just happened on your blog and love it. I’m on ur cuban chicken sandwich page which looks yummy (the sandwich). I can hardly wait to make it. However I have an issue.
    As a Canadian I support our exports. Canola oil (aka rapeseed oil) is a major agricultural export, we grow tons, and we make tons of $. Hundreds of thousands of acres of the Canadian prairie are devoted to Canola production, (hence the name, Canada + Oil). It’s propagation is a result of the demand for industrial lubricants to satisfy demands during WW11, in the end, just another oil war.
    Check it out. It’s not good for you. There are healthy alternatives. May I suggest oils, such as, olive, coconut, grape seed, avocado, hey, what about butter? I’d sooner use beef lard (organic beef lard, that is). Canola = Cheap.
    And It’s bad for you.
    It’s lube for your “Vespa”. That’s it.
    Regards, David

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