Cuban chicken and corn pie

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medtran49

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Adapted From "Memories of a Cuban Kitchen."

Tambor de Maiz/Cuban corn and chicken pie

One 2-3 pound chicken cut into pieces and skin removed (I've used all thighs before when I didn't want to mess with a whole chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tblsp fresh lime juice
1/2 cup spanish olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
2 medium-sized green peppers, seeded, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups drained and chopped canned tomatoes
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped, drained pimientos
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and chopped
2 tblsp capers (the small ones)
3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (defrosted if frozen)
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp sugar
6 large egg yoks (I usually use 2 yolks and 2 whole eggs unless I need egg whites for something else)
1 cup grated muenster cheese

Wash and pat dry chicken pieces. Season liberally with salt, pepper and lime juice. In a large, heavy-bottomed casserole, heat the oil over medium-high heat until fragrant. Cook the chicken pieces, turning occasionally, until golden brown and transfer to plate to cool to room temperature.

Using the same pan, adding a little more oil if necessary, add onions, bell peppers and garlic, cook over low heat until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, strring occasionally, another 15-20 minutes. Measure out 1 cup of tomato mixture and set aside.

To the remaining mixture, add the cumin, pimientos, sherry, olives, and capers. Cover and simmer over low heat 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce is watery, reduce until thickened over medium-high heat. Remove the sauce from the heat.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull off bone and shred into bite size pieces. Add the chicken pieces to the tomato sauce and blend thoroughly. (Recipe can be made thru this point and refrigerated to finish up next day).

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 3-quart baking dish. (See alternative below)

In a food processor or blender, process the corn kernels until pureed. In a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the corn with the milk, salt, pepper, sugar, and the reserved cup of tomato sauce and cook, uncovered, until the mixture is thick, 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. It will scorch if not stirred or temp is too high. Remove from the heat, add in the eggs, mix thoroughly, and allow to cool slightly.

Spread half the corn mixture on the bottom of the baking dish and pat down with your fingers. Cover with entire chicken mixture and top with remaining corn mixture.

ALTERNATIVE: If making same day, leave the chicken mixture in the pan you cooked it in and top with all of corn mixture.

Bake 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes (or so) until cheese melts. Serve hot or warm.
 
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When I made this on Monday since I ran out of work early (made french onion soup too for later in the week), I actually put the whole thing together, except for cheese, baked for 25 minutes, took it out, let it cool for a few then refrigerated. Then, last night, took it out for an hour or so to let it warm up a bit, put it in the cold oven, then turned to 375 and let it warm up, put the cheese on until melted and served. It was even better than usual doing it that way.
 
from what i know, this looks really authentic, all the while lovely or yummy.

i love that you mentioned using your nose to know when, and the addition of capers and pimiento olives with tomato and chicken solidifies it.

would the addition of annato be a cuban thing in the oil?

i will be making this soon.
 
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I don't see why you couldn't use annato oil, it's used in a lot of caribbean recipes and the Cubans use it ground up to color certain dishes. There's a premade spice mix you can buy that a lot of Cubans use in the groceries here, Sazon maybe? I can't remember name off top of head for sure but it's got ground up annato in it.

The book is authentic recipes from a wealthy family pre-Castro. It's even got stories about their lives. There are a few "modern" adaptation recipes, like a quickie black beans from a can recipe that we use most of the time (there is a traditional recipe from dried beans too) but everything else is either family, extended family or their cook's receipes.
 
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