Amanda here, and I am just absolutely thrilled to introduce you to a good friend whose content I know you will LOVE. Please show Cristina Curp of The Castaway Kitchen some love.
She and I have connected over our love of Latin American cuisine (her mother is from Cuba), that we both used to live in Miami, and we both have the autoimmune skin condition hidradenitis suppurativa.
Since my cookbook release is right around the corner on August 22nd, I wanted to get you excited by sharing more delicious Latin American cuisine on my blog. You can look forward to more recipes from Cristina shared here in the coming weeks!
Don't forget to pre-order your copy of my cookbook, Latin American Paleo Cooking, and forward your receipt to lapc @ theecuriouscoconut.com (remove the spaces) so I know to send you my free gift for pre-ordering :)
And now, here's Cristina with a VERY special recipe!
Vaca Frita is a Cuban staple. Traditionally made from flank steak that is boiled, shredded and fried with onions and lemon juice. Vaca Frita literally translates to Fried Cow. Creative, I know.
The vaca frita I grew up eating was delicious in its simplicity yet exciting because if the different textures and hits of citrus. Only downside, it was cooked in copious amounts of vegetable oil, probably canola- yuk!
While this same cooking method could be used to recreate the beef vaca frita, I love using chicken or turkey breast. It makes the meal a little lighter. It’s easier, because shredding boiled beef is no joke. Dare I say more cost effective! I don’t know about you, but grass fed beef is might expensive around these parts. Turkey breast can be difficult to find, and so here I used pastured chicken breasts.
This Chicken Vaca Frita was inspired by a staple at my mother’s restaurant. A farm to table joint in Coral Gables, Fl. Green Gables Café has been serving up Turkey Vaca Frita since its doors opened 10 years ago.
Miami locals become mildly obsessed with this saucy, crunchy, lighter rendition of the heavy, greasy Cuban classic. You can get fried cow on almost any block in South Florida, but Turkey Vaca Frita is a Green Gables Specialty; and I’ve created a home kitchen, AIP, good fat packing recipe for you!
If you’re into low carb, paleo and nightshade free recipes, head to TheCastawayKitchen.com
A couple of my recipes that I think you would really love if you like this recipe are my Arroz Con Pollo, Roasted Lemon Crispy Beef, Cuban Burger (plantain crusted pork patty), and Cuban Mojo Pork, which are AIP or AIP friendly.
Amanda here again: if you are still Instant Pot-less, now is the time to pick one up! I've got some tasty recipes on the blog, plus I also wrote an AIP Instant Pot eBook with some other AIP bloggers. Click here to purchase and download instantly!
Instant Pot Chicken or Turkey Vaca Frita
Vaca frita is a classic Cuban dish, but this rendition is made lighter with chicken or turkey and cooked up fast with just your Instant Pot pressure cooker.
- 4lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or turkey breasts
- 1 cup bone broth
- ¼ cup tallow or bacon fat (divided)
- 3 large sweet onions
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 lemons
- 3 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 1 cup minced cilantro
- First you need to cook your chicken breasts. Open your pressure cooker, add in my chicken and broth and set to poultry (20 min, high).
- While the chicken cooks get prep the rest of the ingredients; peel and slice all the onions and the garlic. Juice the lemons and mince the cilantro. Once the chicken is done, release the pressure manually. Remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and place in a bowl. Shred with two forks and set aside.
- Empty the bowl of your pressure cooker. Heat, with the lid open on sauté mode, medium or low heat. When it comes to temperature add in 2 tbsp. cooking fat and all the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes until the onions are very tender, translucent and sweet.
- Remove half of the onion from the pot and add in half of the shredded chicken, one tbsp. fat, sprinkle in some salt and set the saute heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes until crispy bits begin for form. Add in half of the lemon juice and a handful of cilantro. Stir well and remove from the pressure cooker. Next add in the remaining fat, onions, chicken and repeat. Same with the remaining salt, lemon and cilantro.
- Once it’s all done, mix it all together and toss well and let it sit for 5 minutes. Mix again, make sure you scrape and crispy bits from the bottom of the pot. Then you’re ready to serve! Garnish with remaining cilantro. This is great over cauliflower rice, with plantain chips or over greens! Buen Provecho!
Cook time: 00 hrs. 25 mins.
Total time: 50 mins.Tags: paleo, AIP, gluten-free, Instant Pot, Cuban, vaca frita, chicken, turkey, Latin American
Chef, Wife, Mama, Eater & Dreamer. Cristina has found health, happiness and vitality through a low carb paleo diet. Suffering from a painful autoimmune disease most of her life, and learning the connection between diet, gut health and her skin condition was life changing; now she spends her days cooking and spreading the healing goodness. Find more delicious recipes on her site: Castaway Kitchen, Follow along with her cooking adventures on Facebook. For drool worthy food porn, follow her on Instagram: @thecastawaykitchen.