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My Signature Dish & A Tease!

(pot liquor is always good for the belly!)

I’ve been sitting on sharing this recipe because it’s being published in my cookbook. So I’m still not even sure if I’m going to offer the recipe this time. Please do forgive your friend if I don’t.

But I’m inspired to talk about it, because, quite frankly, it’s my signature dish, the one that makes a man want to marry me, the one that makes my girlfriends want to cook, the ones that food media talk about and inquire about my culinary training. And the one that just makes Cuban food so damn popular and good!

I think I was 20 the first time I cooked Pollo En Fricasse. Actually maybe 18 while in college. Either way, it’s the most amazing chicken dish I’ve ever had. It’s a Cuban classic. I’m sure every Cuban cook has their version but I’ll go all out & say this one is the best. Yup, sure is! Given to me by my mother, I’ve adjusted it slightly.

This is even better than the French coq au vin classic. Especially since it’s not a labor of love like the latter. Who wants to spend an entire day cooking something that is going to be devoured in less than 30 minutes!?

(Alton Brown makes it look so easy when he makes it on “Good Eats”-the magic of TV, I swear!)

Though this is my absolute favorite chicken entree, I wasn’t very happy last time I prepared it for a formal group of media. See when I cook, it’s always from my heart and gut. There’s always a cup of love in the pot. But this last time (which was over a year ago), I didn’t feel so good making it. I was a bamboozled into cooking for a large group of snobby journalists! I was under the impression I’m cooking for an intimate party of 10, including me and my guest. But the hostess intentionally failed to mention it was her b-day and decided to make it a 40 head b-day party.


So it took a few months, but it hit me! I got got! She wanted her friends to think she had a private chef. But why wouldn’t she have told me it was her b-day? And once there, why wouldn’t she throw me a a tip!? Something, right!

After all, I had spent over $100 bucks, 40 minutes to her place and over 2 hours cooking. And a sista was broke then.

Well what I learned and have appreciated since, is that my main entree, being this pollo, was a smashing hit that night. Everyone loved it and some asked for the recipe. I was quite confident they’d love it so I was just content there were no leftovers.

It was so good, it landed me a live appearance on TV. So I’m not mad ya’ll. Just hate that I got tricked into cooking.

And that’s never cool.

When I realized and claimed it as my signature dish, I stopped giving the recipe away. An extended family member is the last recipient of this goodness, and even then it took me 2 months to respond to her email!

And after writing this post, I have gotten myself all worked up about the dinner party, so I’m so sorry to impart another day of not sharing. But I’ll share pics with you and even encourage you to try to figure it out!

(update: ooh, a reader said she was going to Google it, which is all good and gravy, but it won’t be mine!! 🙂

I cooked this yesterday for an impromptu get together at my friends house. I love it how friends so casually say “Hey “B”, I’m cooking lunch/dinner, wanna come over”? And yet somehow I end up cooking. How exactly does that work? Ultimately, I was okay with it b/c 11 of the coolest people enjoyed it and one in particular cleaned his plate as Geisha (my bishon) does her bowl of Pedigree lamb & rice.

And in the pic below, I was only responsible for the chicken. Plating here was very home-style, since we were chillin’ watching football all day. Perhaps for a client, the carrots would have been cut prettier and the rice would have been juxtaposed a bit differently. Just more gourmayish (yes my way of spelling it!:)

All else was prepared by S, my newly prego friend! You see those plantains? They look so good and were actually from a frozen bag! I’d never had them so I was pleasantly surprised at the natural flavor. I don’t know I’d make them at home, but if you’re in a hurry and can’t even find ripe platanos, go for these.

(Chicken being cooked in the pot. All goodness not yet in)

I don’t make many promises, but this chicken dish is something that will cause you to love Cuban food, love yourself for cooking Cuban food and confidently tell him that you’re not going to marry him unless he does the dishes every single time you cook!

If you figure the recipe out, enjoy and let me know! I’d be so curious!

Happy week everyone!


*Related Posts*

Plantain Cheese Balls!

Spanish Style Plantain Omelette

Platanos, Maduros & Tostones

Cooking With Emeril, It Really Happened!

2 Degrees From J. Lo: She Loves Plantains & Flan!


Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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Don't forget to check out my debut cookbook!

68 thoughts on “My Signature Dish & A Tease!

  1. Aaahhh… is that a dare, Bren? *wink* Im so going to google it and will give you the update.

    On being tricked to cook, that’s so not cool. But landed a tv appearance for it, is priceless!

  2. Can I tell you, this was the best Chicken dish I have ever had.  You can just drink the “pot liquor” or if you prefer (like I did) soak it up with some crusty bread. Delicioso!  Bren – you can make this dish for me anytime.  I am still licking my fingers.

  3. Ah, looks so scrumptiously good!! Yes, your cooking really rocks. Keep it up, Chef Bren, and that marriage proposal may be closer than you think. 🙂

  4. Fricasse is one of my favorite Latin dishes too…done either with chicken or pork. I add prunes which makes the pot juice really sabroso. It looks to me like you might have some dates in there…do you? Do you add raisins or other dried fruit?

  5. Guess I have to wait for the book. It does look good. I love any use of olives.And palntains. I purchased the frozen once. I prefer the real, but it will do in a pinch.My first thought was that one of those “Real Housewives of Atlanta “tricked you and was perpetrating for her birthday.

  6. Yes, I’m one of the lucky ones that got this recipe! I remember the first time I had it in your apartment in Alexandria (shot out to Duke Street):-) Girl, this is one of my favorite dishes. I’ve also cooked it for my husband and several friends and always giving props to my F-A-B friend Brenda. Can’t wait to get the cookbook!

  7. Reg: isn’t it always! I love being at the house with u guys!
    Farina: A dare!?! Ha! Go for it girlie, but whatever you find, won’t be mine!!! 🙂
    Dawn: crusty bread is so good to soak up the liquor! yum for real!
    David: oh you know it! ur funny.
    Joan: If anyone non-Latin knows this dish, it would be you Joan! I’m so glad you love it! I’ve not made it dates but sure will next time.
    Courtney: you are always so understanding. I promise it won’t be so long before the book is done! And good for you for trying the frozen ones. I really was surprised at the taste… amazing.
    Tanika: I can’t believe you’ve memorized the recipe. Good for you! I hope Tim loved it!
    Helen: Hmm. don’t make me feel bad. I may just email it to you… It really is fantastic!! 🙂 Send me an email.

  8. Hey girl!  It was so so so good and the little left overs we had, Reg ate it like there was no tomorrow.  Thank you and next time, I’ll make you proud!!  Besitos!! 

  9. So if you won’t give up the recipe, what shipping methods do you offer? The green olives remind me of Spanish cuisine, I miss that unique flavor they add to a dish!

  10. That looks absolutely delicious, you tease! Why do I read these things before dinner time again? 😛 Hey, wanna come over for dinner? 😉

  11. Oooh, I was hoping for a recipe too! 🙂 But I totally understand…though I still don’t really understand what kind of a hostess would put you through such an ordeal…and at your expense!

  12. i do love this dish.  but if it’s your signature than that means you put your special twist on it… which means we’d need to know your recipe to know how to do it YOUR WAY BREN!!!! COME CLEAN GIRL! come on!

  13. Okay, here’s the deal – you include that recipe and I buy the cookbook! 😉

    Actually, I’ll buy your cookbook whatever the heck’s in it, because you’ve never posted anything that doesn’t look wonderful, B!

    Oh, my, though, that looks soooooooooooooo good!!!!

  14. Bren, that looks really gooooooood! I’m sure my man would love it 🙂
    Can’t wait for your book to be published!
    How are you doing???
    Haven’t been reading much on blogs lately… I exhausted, gym is killing me but I have results 😉
    Happy Halloween!! Margot

  15. I’m going to whine and pout til I get this recipe (and buy the cookbook too!) but oh.my.heavens. that looks good.

    The recipes that everyone requests me to make are either a vodka pasta recipe (shhh – it’s Rachael Ray – don’t shoot), a panatonne bread pudding (Giada) or my own “Gringa” Arroz con pollo which I never use a recipe, just give me some chicken, some rice, and it always comes out amazing and never is the same twice (it’s the marinade for the chicken).  I think no matter what recipe I use, I always try to improvise and see where I can make it uniquely mine.

  16. Omg all that food looks so good. Yo quiero some platano frito ahorita!!! Y el estofado de pollo is making my mouth water!! Ok next time I’m over for dinner I know you’ll be making your signature dish HONEY!!

  17. Bren cooked this dish for my husband and I, as well as two friends of ours, and everyone was amazed by it! Absolutely delicious and fun to make!!! I definitely recommend a cooking class by this talented cook!

  18. Hola, I just came across your Site… And I must say I LOVE IT! I saw this dish and was so looking forward to the recipe.. It reminds me of one my dearly departed Grandma use to make. I am just curious as I use to watch her make it as a teenager, but never got her recipe, (many many years ago!). Either way, I know it’s delicious as it looks. Thanks for the memories… Hope one day you will share!

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