cuban chicken bowl

cuban chicken bowl
cuban chicken bowl

It’s been quite a long time since we were in Cuba, but from what I remember there wasn’t that much seasoning on the food. There were lots of beans and pork and plantains, and oh ya, mojitos. How I miss thee! So when I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest, I thought it looked really tasty and flavourful, so obviously, I made it.

I prepped the chicken the night before to marinate and chopped up and put into bowls most of the other things the morning of, so that I could get it all ready for dinner once my daughter and I got back from the park.

Recipe adapted from half baked harvest Just want to mention that I’ve made a lot of recipes from this site, and they are to die for.


  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 red chile, seeded (I omitted as my daughter won’t eat spice yet)
  • good pinch of pepper
  • 3/4 + 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
  • the juice of 4 limes + 1 lime zested
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces (I think I did three large chicken breasts)

Black Beans + Quinoa

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed + drained if using canned

Bananas + Mangos

  • 2 bananas sliced + chili powder if desired
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 red chile, seeded + chopped (I omitted)
  • 1/2 of 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

What to do:

In your blender, combine the ingredients for the chicken marinade. Add the cumin, 3 cloves garlic, red chile, pinch of pepper, 3/4 cup orange juice, lime juice + lime zest, honey, soy sauce and a handful of cilantro to the blender. Blend until everything is finely chopped and smooth. Next, add the chicken to a bowl or a ziplock bag and pour half the marinade over the chicken. Toss to coat and allow the chicken to marinate overnight.

For the quinoa: Heat a large high sided skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot add the oil and onion. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the red pepper and quinoa, cook another five minutes until the red pepper is soft and the quinoa is lightly toasted. Now pour in 3 cups of water or chicken broth, bring the mixture to a boil, cover and then simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and fluffy.

While the quinoa cooks, fry the bananas. Remove the peels from the bananas and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. Set a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the oil. Lay down your banana slices and sprinkle with chili powder if using, fry for 4-5 minutes on each side. Be sure to watch the heat and turn it down if the bananas are browning too quickly. You want enough heat to caramelize and brown the slices, but you don’t want them to burn. Remove from the skillet and place on a plate. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Now chop your mango, lime wedges and cilantro and put them into separate bowls or on a plate. I also quickly pan fried my black beans in about a tsp of olive oil to warm them up and made them as a topper as well.

To cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add a drizzle of olive oil. Add half the chicken and cook, 3-5 minutes or until browned all over and cooked throughout. Remove and repeat with the remaining chicken. Once all the chicken is cooked, remove from pan. In a separate pan, add the remaining marinade + 1/4 cup orange juice to the skillet and bring to a boil. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced slightly.

To serve, divide the quinoa among bowls. Top with chicken, black beans, mangos and bananas. Drizzle with the the mojo sauce and chopped cilantro if desired.

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