Chiron is prepared a Cuban classic in the movie I don't really want to make fun of here in the description: Moonlight. Simple ingredients prepared simply often yield stunning results - will the chef's special rise to the occasion?
4 chicken breasts, butterflied, pounded thin
4 cloves garlic, divided
4 limes, divided
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne
3 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups long-grain dried white rice
1 bay leaf
4 ounces fatty bacon, chopped fine
1 Spanish onion, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and minced
12 ounces dried black beans, soaked overnight, 1/2 cup soaking liquid reserved
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Spanish onion, sliced into rings
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Makes 4 servings
Place chicken in a large resealable bag. Chop two of the garlic cloves, and in a small bowl, whisk together with the juice of two limes, cumin, cayenne, one teaspoon salt, one teaspoon pepper, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Pour marinade over chicken, seal the bag, and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Rinse rice in a large bowl until water runs clear. Drain, and add to 3 1/2 cups of water in a large saucepan, along with the bay leaf, a teaspoon of salt, and a clove of garlic. Bring to a simmer and cover, reducing heat to low, and cooking until water is absorbed and rice is tender and fluffy. If the rice is too ‘al dente’, add water 1/4 cup at a time until completely cooked. Fluff with a fork and keep warm until serving.
While rice simmers, combine bacon and 1/4 cup of water in another large saucepan. Cook until the bacon fat has rendered completely and bacon is crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from the rendered fat, and add minced onion and green pepper. Sauté over medium heat until soft and golden, and add one crushed garlic clove. Sauté until fragrant (about another minute), add bacon back to the pot, and add soaked black beans and their liquid. Simmer uncovered until beans are breaking and liquid has thickened, about 30 minutes. Cover and keep warm until serving.
On a large cast iron griddle or in a large cast iron pan, heat one tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and sear, cooking until golden and lightly charred - place in a bowl and cover with aluminum foil until serving. Add the last tablespoon of vegetable oil to the griddle, remove chicken breasts from the bag and shake off excess marinade, and sear on hot griddle. Flip once golden-brown on one side, and continue to cook until internal temperature reads 165°F, about 5 minutes on each side.
Arrange chicken, rice, and beans side-by-side on a plate, molding the rice into a wide cylinder with a plastic takeout container. Top chicken with sautéd onions, garnish with cilantro, and serve.