Crispy Chicken Havana with Sauteed California Avocado

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Serves: 12
12    Baby chickens (poussin) or boneless chicken breasts
  As needed  Spice Rub (Recipe follows)
12    California Avocados (about 6 pounds)
  As needed  Vegetable oil (As needed)
12    slices Foie gras (1 to 2 ounces each)
  As needed  Tomatillo Sauce (Recipe follows)
  quart Mixed grilled vegetables (bell pepper, poblano chile)
  As needed  Cumin-Scented Black Beans (Recipe follows)
  As needed  Red Wine Sauce (Recipe follows)
  As needed  Crispy Fried Plantain Ring (Recipe follows)
  As needed  Cilantro sprigs as needed for garnish
12    Fresh limes, cut into 1-inch cubes
    Spice Rub
14  oz.  achiote paste
Tbsp.  Achiote powder, toasted
Tbsp.  chopped garlic
Tbsp.  freshly ground black pepper
Tbsp.  Ground cumin, toasted
  bunch Green onion (green part only), chopped finely
  bunch Cilantro, finely chopped
  As needed  Lime zest, finely chopped (8 limes)
  As needed  Neutral vegetable oil as needed
    Tomatillo Sauce
lb.  tomatillos
  (about 12 ounces) Yellow onion, chopped roughly
1/2  gal.  water
  bunches Cilantro
  limes, juiced
  As needed  Salt and pepper to taste
    Cumin-Scented Black Beans
  Red bell pepper, diced (about 8 ounces)
  Red onion, diced (about 6 ounces)
  Jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
  As needed  Vegetable oil as needed
cups  cooked black beans
1/2    bunch cilantro, chopped
Tbsp.  cumin seed, toasted and ground
  As needed  Salt and pepper to taste
    Red Wine Sauce
lb.  Veal or beef scraps, chopped
  As needed  Vegetable oil as needed
  Onions, chopped (about 1 pound)
  Carrots, chopped (about 8 ounces)
  Celery stalks, chopped (about 8 ounces)
  Bay leaf
tsp.  black peppercorns
1 1/2  gal.  Dry red wine
3 1/2  gal.  veal stock
    Fried Plantains
  As needed  Have ready 6 tin cans (2-inch in diameter) that have been opened at both ends and have had labels removed.
  As needed  Peel green plantains; slice lengthwise about 1/32-inch thick; reserve.
  As needed  Wrap parchment around each can, then wrap 2 slices plantain around; secure with paper clips or spring clips.
  As needed  Deep fry until very light, golden brown, about 30 seconds. Drain. Cool; remove clips.

As with all fruits and vegetables, wash avocados before cutting. Check out our tips for how to choose and use California Avocados


  1. Remove back bone and all other bones from each chicken except wing bones; flatten. Or flatten boneless chicken breast.
  2. Generously rub each with Spice Rub; reserve.
  3. Season 1 chicken with salt; grill, turning occasionally, until skin is crisp and flesh is just firm to the touch, about 5 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, cut 1 avocado into wedges; sauté in a little oil. Keep warm.
  5. Sauté foie gras in a little oil; keep warm.
  6. To assemble the dish: Pour 1/4 cup heated Tomatillo Sauce in the center of a large dinner plate; layer with 1/3 cup heated grilled vegetables, sautéed avocado, and 1/4 cup heated Cumin-Scented Black Beans. Top with grilled chicken. Garnish with foie gras, 1/4 cup heated Red Wine Sauce, Plantain Ring, sprigs of cilantro, and lime.
  7. Spice Rub Preparation
  8. Mix all ingredients except oil.
  9. Stir in oil as needed to make a fluid paste.
  10. Tomatillo Sauce Preparation
  11. Simmer tomatillos, onion, and water for 20 minutes.
  12. Strain off half of liquid; discard.
  13. In a blender, puree remaining tomatillo mixture; cool.
  14. In a blender; puree half of cooled tomatillo mixture with cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper.
  15. Combine both mixtures; serve at room temperature.
  16. Cumin-Scented Black Beans Preparation
  17. Sauté bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno in oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
  18. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat through.
  19. Reserve.
  20. Red Wine Sauce Preparation
  21. Brown meat in oil; reserve.
  22. In the same pan, brown vegetables.
  23. Return meat to pan; add seasonings.
  24. Add red wine; reduce volume by one third.
  25. Add veal stock. Bring to a boil; skim.
  26. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  27. Reduce volume by half or until desired consistency and flavor is achieved, skimming often.


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