Sweet plantains lend a tasty Caribbean flair to this easy recipe for crumb-coated, stuffed chicken breasts.
If you’re not familiar, plantains are a large, firm variety of banana and a popular staple in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine. Also known as cooking bananas, plantains are starchier than regular bananas and are typically cooked before eating.
Plantains vary in texture and sweetness depending on their stage of ripeness. Unripe (or green) plantains are quite firm and not sweet. Similar to potatoes, they can be sliced and fried or baked, or cut into chunks, boiled and mashed.
Ripe plantains are soft and mildly sweet. Be sure to read our tips on how to ripen them below.
The most popular (and delicious) way to prepare ripe plantains is to simply slice and sauté or shallow-fry them until golden. Our stuffed chicken recipe only calls for one plantain, but we suggest getting an extra and sautéing a few as a side dish. Black beans and rice are a great accompaniment too.Print
Plantain Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Boneless chicken breasts stuffed with sweet plantain and rolled in seasoned crumbs make a deliciously easy main dish with a classic Caribbean flair.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 to 1-1/4 lbs)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ripe plantain (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin, plus more to season the plantains
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Vegetable oil
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- If your chicken breasts have the tenderloins attached, remove them and reserve for another use.
- Place each piece of chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pound to an even thickness of about 1/4-inch.
- Lay out 4 fresh sheets of plastic wrap, place 1 piece of chicken on each and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Peel the plantain, cut it in half crosswise, then slice it lengthwise into quarters. Place one plantain “spear” in the center of each piece of chicken, mash it slightly with a fork and sprinkle with a little ground cumin.
- Fold the narrower end of the chicken breast over the plantain, then roll into a cylinder. Keeping the seam side on the bottom, pull the edges of the plastic wrap up around the chicken and twist tighly to seal. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Note: Refrigerating helps to firm the chicken and keep the roll together. If you’d rather not take the extra time, simply secure the roll at the seam with a couple of toothpicks.
- Whisk the egg and milk together in a shallow dish (a pie plate works well for this).
- Spread the breadcrumbs in another dish or on a sheet of wax paper. Add the cumin, coriander, 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and a few grinds of black pepper and combine.
- Carefully dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, then roll in the breadcrumbs to coat.
- Add about 1/8-inch of oil to a large frying pan and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken in a single layer and cook, turning carefully, until lightly golden on all sides, about 2 minutes total.
- Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet (seam side down) and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes.
How to Prepare Plantains for Cooking:
Plantains can be found in the produce department of most major grocery chains. Most often you will find them still green (unripe), but for this recipe you need to let them come to full ripeness which can take up to a week.
A fully ripe plantain is mostly black with a few yellow spots showing through.
To peel a plantain, remove the ends, then slice lengthwise through the peel along the four exterior ridges with a sharp knife. You should then be able to strip away the outer peel in sections.