Cheesy Chicken & Plantain Casserole

Cheesy Chicken & Plantain Casserole

Although I wish I could, I can’t take credit for this idea. My co-worker Omar was telling me about how he loves his mom’s Puerto Rican cooking and somehow we got on the subject of plantains. Because when a Cuban and Puerto Rican are talking about food, you somehow always end up on the subject of plantains, you know?

Omar explained how his mom makes a very delicious Plantain Pastelón, or plantain casserole. As soon as I heard those magical words – Plantain Casserole – I knew I had to make it as soon as possible! Ripe plantains are like nothing else. They’re sweet and starchy, like a tropical-flavored sweet potato. They mash up well and I knew they’d make the perfect base for a casserole.

I baked some ripe plantains and topped them with chicken sauteed with onions, peppers and garlic. And because this is a Latin American casserole, I threw in some beans. Finally, a casserole wouldn’t be a casserole without cheese on top. When it came out of the oven, it was gorgeous. Exactly what I was hoping for with it’s browned, crisp edges and melted cheesy crust. So, next time you see that big pile of ugly-looking plantains, grab a few for this casserole. You will thank me!

Cheesy Chicken & Plantain Casserole

4 ripe plantains (They’ll be half yellow, half black when ripe)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 red peppers, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded
1 tsp. salt
1 8oz. can on tomato sauce (not marinara)
1/2 cup chicken stock (or water)
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 425°. Peel and halve the plantains and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove from oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 375°.

While the plantains are baking, saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil over medium-high hear for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Add the chicken, salt and tomato sauce and stir to combine over the heat. If they chicken looks too dry, add a 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock. Saute for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Grease a small baking dish, then place the plantains at the bottom in one layer. If your baking dish is small, you may have to layer here. Just place enough plantains to cover the bottom in one layer. Place half the chicken on top of the plantains and spread out into an even layer. Do the same with the beans (and any extra plantains you have), then top off with the remaining chicken. Spread the cheese over the top in an even layer.

Bake for 30 minutes at 365°.

Makes 4 – 6 servings.

14 Comments

  1. Very awesome! Just by looking at the picture and reading your entry, it made me hungry! Next time you do it, I want a piece!

    Mama is going to try to do it the way you did :)

  2. I was thinking about a chicken casserole today, I have never made one before…and there you were!
    Though bananas/plantains are my cryptonite. Can’t stand ‘em.
    But…I have now made your pork w/ red onions, garlic and orange juice about 5 times!
    We love it!

  3. I’ve been following your blog for awhile but this is the first time I’ve made one of the recipes. I worked on it this afternoon as I had to bake the chicken. The casserole was great. Im hoping it will be even better tomorrow.

  4. I am totally gaga for plantains. And the weird thing is, I really don’t like bananas, but grilled and baked plantains are all good in my book. I love the combo of plantains, chicken and cheese. Bookmarking this…

  5. Tried it. Not bad. I used a small bottle of tomato bruschetta instead of sauce and store-bought rotiserie chicken.

  6. Have to try cooking with plantains again: we had a plantain disaster a year ago and we’ve been afraid to try it ever since. This casserole looks amazing!

  7. Pingback: Easier Than Falling Off a Log

  8. Black beans? It looks like you used pinto beans?

  9. Avalon Absinthe says:

    I just made this and it was AMAZING! i used pinto beans and it came out divine! thanks for sharing such awesomeness!

  10. Pingback: Columbus Foodie » Blog Archive » July 2009 Roundup

  11. Pingback: July 2009 Roundup « The Random Item

  12. Jonathan Shanes says:

    I made this exceptional dish today. Our three person family nearly devoured the entire casserole. This is a fabulous dish, the flavors are so complimentary and the plantains add that dull sweetness. I was fortunate that our local grocer had beautiful an d perfectly ripened plantains ready to prepare this dish.

  13. Just found this and had to rush right out and make it. Yummmm!
    Just two alterations I will make next time.
    1. Before lining baking dish with baked plantains, cut them into smaller pieces – maybe squares. I found it difficult to serve the finished product neatly, as the plantains tended to pull the rest apart when moved.
    2. Not enough CHEESE! I think I will add a layer of cheese in the middle as well. And I probably will mix the cheddar with some Gruyere, Swiss or Asiago for a slightly different flavor profile.
    But I definitely WILL make this again, either way.

  14. For an even simpler version we made this yesterday using a 24 oz jar of http://www.OldHavanaFoods.com Black Bean Seasoning (sofrito). It was delicious and so fast. Listening to some other comments we left out the beans and increased the cheese. Here’s how the new recipe reads:

    Cheesy Chicken & Plantain Casserole

    3 ripe plantains (half yellow, half black skin when ripe) or 3 boxes of frozen Goya Ripe Plantains (11 oz each)
    1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded into large bite size pieces
    24 oz jar Old Havana Sofrito
    1/2 cup chicken stock (or water)
    16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

    Preheat your oven to 425°F. Peel and chop the plantains into ½ inch pieces and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they are cooked through and beginning to brown. Remove from oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.

    While the plantains are baking, combine shredded chicken with the Old Havana Sofrito and ½ cup water in a non-stick skillet. Bring to a simmer. Sauté for about 5 minutes to heat through thoroughly, then remove from heat.

    Grease a deep baking dish, place ½ the plantains at the bottom in one layer. Place half the chicken and sofrito mixture on top of the plantains and spread out into an even layer. Add ½ the cheese in an even layer. Then repeat with the remaining plantains, chicken mixture and top off with the remaining cheese.

    Bake for 30 minutes at 375°F. Cover dish with foil half way through to retain moisture. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 7 to10 minutes so that juices are rehydrated into chicken and plantains.

    Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>