Is it possible to recreate Bahama Breeze Chicken Tostones, Healthier & Gluten-Free?
When I made the switch to gluten-free, I immediately contacted Bahama Breeze to find out if I could still eat their chicken tostones. Unfortunately, the answer was no, so I set out to create a version of this comfort food that I could enjoy.
I love all types of ethnic foods; ok wait… we can leave out the ones with insects or strange animals. My foodie comfort level hasn’t allowed me to go there yet.
For a long time, my husband and I would go to Bahama Breeze specifically for the chicken tostones. It’s sooooooo delicious and a go-to comfort food for me.
As soon as I discovered my gluten allergy, Bahama Breeze was one of my very first calls.
“Are the chicken tostones at Bahama Breeze gluten-free?”
Thus ended my regular love affair with this beautiful dish. Or, so I thought.
It took me several months to adapt to my new gluten-free lifestyle and limitations.
Then one morning, I woke up with increased energy and a passion for rediscovering foods I had loved, had given up, but that I just knew had potential to fit into my new diet.
Why, after all, should a dish that is primarily plantains and chicken have gluten in it in the first place?
My inspiration came after finding a bag of gluten-free tostones in our local grocery store. Friends had told me that it was easy to make tostones. Tostones, also called Patacones, are made from sliced green plantains that are fried, smashed, and then refried until crisp and delicious.
I am skeptical of how easy they are and stick to the store-bought tostones. But, one day I’ll venture out and make these fried golden plantain slices from scratch.
For now, I’m sticking with the easy way. Especially since we love this recipe so much, we make it at least once a week!
How to make gluten-free chicken tostones
You’ll need the following ingredients:
- 3 chicken breasts
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled
- ⅓ cup of olive oil
- A bunch of cilantro
- A bunch of parsley
- ½ Tbsp. of cumin
- ⅛ tsp of coriander
- ½ Tbsp. of turmeric
- ¼ tsp of pepper
- Salt to taste
- Juice of two lemons
- 2 large red peppers, or a mix of red, green, and yellow
- 1 large package of mushrooms
- 2 large onions
- ½ cup of vegetable or chicken broth ( i use my homemade chicken broth)
- A few threads of saffron
- 1 Tbsp. of ginger
- 1 Tbsp. of paprika
- Four Mexican cheese blend, shredded
- Pre-made gluten-free tostones
- Olive oil spray
- Optional toppings: salsa, guacamole, and sour cream
Preparing the chicken:
First, remove all the fat and skin from the chicken. To tenderize, I place the chicken in a shallow bowl, pour some vinegar over it, and leave it for a few minutes. Then I rinse and drain the chicken, patting it dry before rubbing on the salt.
Using a mortar, crush half the garlic, parsley, cilantro, and some salt until it is soft and tender. Do this again with the second half, making sure the flavors incorporate nicely, and the garlic isn’t spilling out of the small mortar bowl (the reason for doing it in batches). Transfer the garlic and herb mix into a medium bowl.
Next, add the lemon juice and the remaining spices (except ginger and paprika) and stir.
Add the chicken to the bowl, making sure to coat it in the marinade.
Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes.
While the chicken is chilling, prepare the vegetables.
Dice the onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Over medium heat, add half of the olive oil. Add the onions, sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your preference. I like mine tender, so I sauté for the full 10 minutes. If you prefer crunchy, only do 5.
Add the peppers and mushrooms to the pan and sauté.
Set the vegetable mix to the side. Take the chicken out of the fridge. Add the other half of the olive oil to the pan and then the chicken. Cook the chicken until it is cooked all the way through. Remove the chicken from the heat and let it cool slightly until you can safely slice or dice it without getting burned.
Once the chicken is ready, return it to the pan with the vegetable mix. Add the broth and cook on medium to low heat for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.
This is where I add paprika and ginger. It provides a nice pop of flavor to the dish.
Preparing the tostones:
For the tostones, to keep it healthier, I don’t fry mine. Instead, I soak the plantains in salt and water for a few minutes and dry them with a paper towel. Then, I transfer them to a pan lined with a parchment sheet and spray both sides with olive oil.
Bake them in a 375 degree F preheated oven until lightly browned.
If you have an air fryer I would love to hear if you’ve ever tried to fry your plantains that way.
Time to assemble!
Transfer the cooked tostones to plates and heap on the chicken and vegetable mix. The amount you want to put on the plantains is entirely up to you.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top, pop it back in the oven to melt (remember, oven-safe plates!).
You can serve this dish as is or add salsa, guacamole, and/or sour cream. It is entirely up to you!
At my house, we return to this delicious dish at least once a week. It’s comfort food that I thought I had lost, but am excited to say I enjoy it even more now than before I discovered my gluten allergy.
What meal do you typically eat with tostones?
While this copycat Bahama Breeze chicken tostones recipe is one of my favorites, I’d love to hear how you eat tostones.
Do you make your tostones from scratch, or do you have a favorite gluten-free brand you turn to?