CORN CAKE WITH CHICKEN

Liuyen “El Gallego” Álvarez Gallego (Havana, 1982). Earned his Chef’s certificate in 2012 from the Federation of Culinary Associations of Cuba. Has been involved in culinary matters for 14 years. His recipes have received various national awards, and his career spans work at a number of restaurants: Los Tres Chinitos, Los Nardos, Arte Chef, Bom Apetite, Atelier and Casa Vieja. Currently, he is working at the restauarant EFE and putting the finishing touches on a cookbook he authored.

I ate every animal in the zoo!

My favorite food is mashed potato and fried eggs. When I was a little boy, my mom would get me to eat by telling me it was pheasant from India. And you might not believe it, but I grew up thinking that it was really Indian pheasant. I was a very fussy eater and whenever we had meat, my mom would trick me by telling me it was a different animal every time. So as a kid, I ate every animal in the zoo. Today it was elephant, tomorrow gazelle, then crocodile…. And I would wonder where my mom was getting all that meat. But I ate them all.

CORN CAKE WITH CHICKEN

Ingredients for 4 people

180 g corn flour (1cup)

500 mL milk (½ L)

500 mL chicken stock (½ L)

50 g butter (2 Tbsp)

15g crushed garlic (1½ Tbsp)

15g salt (½ Tbsp)

250 g stewed chicken (1 cup)

45 g grated cheese (3 Tbsp)

Preparation

Toss garlic in butter, on low heat; add corn flour previously mixed with chicken stock at room temperature and turn up the heat to medium. Stir until mixture begins to boil, and add milk gradually, stirring frequently so that it doesn’t stick. When mixture begins to thicken, lower heat and place into a previously greased pan that is at least two centimeters high. Lay chicken on top, sprinkle cheese over it and refrigerate for 40 min. Cut into wedges and heat before serving.

This recipe can be done using only milk or only chicken stock, but when both are used, it brings a real balance, because the stock adds flavor and the milk adds smoothness.

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