Recipe: La Bandera
- The Caribbean, Dominican Republic
- 1 hour
This is La Bandera, or "the flag." It is rice, beans, and meat—the most common ingredients in the Dominican Republic. It is a very basic recipe and is cooked here almost daily for lunch, either as it is written here, or with some variations.
Materials & Procedures
- Habichuleas (beans)
- Salt to taste
- Sopita or bouillon cube
- Auyama or any kind of squash if you are not in the Dominican Republic
- Celery leaves
- Onion (sliced)
- Garlic (mashed)
- Poultry seasoning
- Tomato paste
- Soak beans (habichuelas) overnight, or use beans from a can if you're in a hurry.
- Throw the beans, along with the water from the can or the water they were soaked in, into a pot and add a little more water.
- Put it on the stove on medium heat.
- Add a little salt, and when the beans are almost done, add a sopita, which is basically a bouillon cube.
- Cut up a piece of auyama, or any kind of squash if you aren't in the Dominican Republic, and add that, too.
- Put in a bit of oregano and celery leaves for flavor.
- Wait for the habichuelas to thicken up a little bit. Add salt to taste.
- That may take 30 minutes or so. In the meantime... take clean, prepared pieces of chicken, and put them in a bowl.
- Add sliced onion, mashed garlic, vinegar, sazon completa (poultry seasoning), celery, oregano, and salt to taste.
- In a heavy pot, put a spoonful of sugar into a little bit of oil and put it on the stove on medium-low heat.
- When the sugar starts to burn, throw in all of the chicken and ingredients, all at once.
- Make sure all of the chicken pieces are situated well, and put the lid on.
- After about 10 to 15 minutes, add some water—not enough to cover, just a little bit. Turn the pieces over, and put the lid back on.
- In another 10 to 15 minutes, check the chicken. If it is close to being done, add a little bit of tomato paste (here they just call it salsa ), making sure the paste gets into the liquid in the pot. Turn the chicken again if needed.
- In the Dominican Republic, people cook it in a cadena and scrape the bottom for the kon-kon (the burnt parts, which are a special treat), but you can cook it however you like.
- The habichuelas are spooned over the rice, and the chicken is served on top.
- This meal is also often served with cabbage, lettuce, green tomatoes, and cucumber, with vinegar sprinkled on top.
- That's it! La Bandera. Enjoy!