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Ropa Vieja


10 pastured chicken legs and thighs on the bone

Mirepoix: 1 each onion, carrot, and celery stalk, chopped

5 fresh bay leaves

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, julienned

3 green peppers, julienned

2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons bourbon-smoked paprika

1 teaspoon chili flakes

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 ½ cups chopped tomato

Salt and pepper

4 bananas

2 tablespoons butter

Pinch sugar

1 cup green olives

¼ cup capers


  1. Place chicken in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a simmer. Skim foam from the surface and add mirepoix and 2 bay leaves. Simmer for 2 hours. Strain, reserve broth, and let cool.
  2. When cool, pull meat away from bones. Discard bones.
  3. In a large stock pot, add olive oil and put on medium heat. Add onions, peppers, and garlic and lightly brown.
  4. Add chicken, paprika, chili flakes, onion powder, garlic power, oregano, and 1 bay leaf. Sauté all together for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped tomato and remaining 2 bay leaves. Simmer for at least 2 hours or more, stirring vigorously to shred chicken. If your stew is getting dry, you can add some of the reserved broth. After 2 hours or so the chicken should be completely shredded and moist but not soupy. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve hot.
  6. To roast bananas, split bananas in half lengthwise. In 2 pans, melt butter and put a pinch sugar. Add bananas cut side down in each pan and sauté until nicely browned. Flip bananas over and turn off heat, allowing bananas to cook a little more while the pan cools.
  7. To serve, divide a nice portion of ropa vieja between 8 plates and garnish with olives, capers, and half a banana on each.
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