Gone Bananas Part 3: Coquí Chik’n

My husband and I honeymooned in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. One of our favorite memories is of dining al fresco at night, listening to the clamorous yet beautiful sound of the male Coquí frogs courting their mates. Soon after we returned to our brownstone apartment in Central City Philadelphia, I came up with Coquí Chicken (I used real chicken at the time — that was over eleven years ago), a blend of grilled bananas, garlic, onion and chicken (now seitan). The grilled bananas are reminiscent of the plantains we ate daily while on our honeymoon, usually purchased from a stand along the beach. If you can find plantains in your area, by all means, use them. But bananas will work too and will give the dish a sweeter flavor that works great in our household since my kids have all inherited my notorious sweet tooth.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a large, ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • one package seitan, rinsed and sliced
  • olive oil for cooking
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook the seitan over medium-high heat with a little olive oil until browned. Add 1 tbsp of the soy sauce and a drizzle of the agave to coat the seitan and continue cooking until the liquid has been absorbed. Add in the garlic and onion and the rest of the soy sauce and agave and allow to simmer.

In a separate pan, heat some olive oil and then place the banana slices in a single layer. Saute until browned on both sides, being careful to flip them without breaking them. When they’re finished browning on both sides, toss them gently with the seitan mixture. Plate alongside some white rice (sticky rice would be super yum!) and serve while hot.

Happy eating!