Chicken Adobo and Citrus-Marinated Hearts of Palm Salad

Chicken Adobo

``Spend any time at all in a Cuban kitchen, and you're sure to hear the word `adobo.' This fragrant paste of garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, and sour-orange or lime juice is Cuba's national marinade. Fish, shellfish, poultry, and meat are submerged in adobo prior to grilling, sauteing, or deep-frying,'' writes author Steven Raichlen.

MARINADE:

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 shallot, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 large whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 lbs.), split in half (4 halves), washed, and blotted dry

Mash garlic, shallot, and herbs to a paste with a mortar and pestle, then work in remaining marinade ingredients. Or, alternatively, puree the ingredients in a blender.

Transfer the marinade to a glass or stainless steel baking dish and add the chicken breasts. Coat the chicken with the marinade. Cover the dish and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Turn the chicken breasts once or twice during this period.

Preheat a barbecue grill to medium heat or preheat the broiler with the broiler tray 3 inches from the heat.

Grill the chicken breasts over medium heat until just cooked, about 3 minutes per side. Broiling time is about the same. Serves 4.

Citrus-Marinated Hearts of Palm Salad

MARINADE

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-1/2 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cups thinly sliced hearts of palm, fresh or 1 14-ounce jar or can, drained

4 to 5 cups mixed salad greens

Chopped fresh chives or scallions

Combine ingredients for the marinade in a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the hearts of palm. If using fresh hearts of palm, marinate for 4 hours. If using canned hearts, marinate for 1 hour.

Place saucer over the palm hearts to keep them submerged.

Drain the palm hearts and reserve the marinade. Toss the salad greens with 3 to 4 tablespoons of marinade and arrange on salad plates. Arrange the palm hearts on top. Spoon a little more marinade over them and sprinkle with finely chopped chives or scallions. Serves 4.

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