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Chef Chat: BJ Hernandez's Pollo Cubano

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When BJ Hernandez, chef and owner of the three Havana Cafe locations in the Valley, started making this recipe, it was only because it was a special she created for her guests. Now, it's her most popular dish at the restaurants and has found a permanent home on the menu.

Part of its appeal is its use of citrusy flavors on the chicken. The recipe uses bitter orange seasoning, made with orange and lime juices, as well as garlic, salt and cumin to create a rich combination of tastes.

Here's how to make it:

Pollo Cubano
Serves 4

2 pounds boneless breast of chicken
1 1/4 pound Spanish onions (or yellow onions) sliced medium thickness
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil

Marinade
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/8 cup olive oil

Mix marinade ingredients together. Place chicken breasts in a glass, plastic, stainless steel bowl or zip lock gallon bag. Pour marinade over chicken and marinate 3 hours or overnight, refridgerated.

In a large frying pan, heat olive oil to very hot. Add chicken breasts. Do not turn over or move until first side is very brown. Turn over and add onions and juice. Move onions around to brown cook for 8-10 minutes more. Serve with white rice and black beans. There should be juices left in the pan. Pour them over the chicken breasts topped with the onions.

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