It’s hard to beat a late summer dinner. Lingering daylight, a crowded table on the porch, and a hearty meal with plenty to go around; enjoying good food with friends well into the night is perhaps the best part of the season.
I can never get enough plantains in my life, and I’m always looking for more ways to serve them. These Caribbean-inspired bowls are a go-to for summer entertaining, with a sweet and spicy chicken marinade, fried sweet plantains, charred collards, and flavorful black beans.
I’ve found that when preparing chicken, a marinade is almost like a cheat code; it’s a foolproof way to add flavor and moisture, and it’s (almost) impossible to mess it up on the grill. Warm spices, lime, soy sauce, and a subtle kick from the jalapeño makes this one of my all-time favorites.
The 8” Chef Knife is the perfect do-it-all tool for chopping ingredients for a marinade, as well as slicing through the tough skin of a plantain. While some of the longer chef knives definitely feel more powerful for tackling bigger kitchen projects, I find the sleek 8” to be a lot more versatile (and a little more friendly). It’s precise and easy to maneuver, and it’s got wicked chopping and prepping capabilities; it transitions really easily from dicing up a large melon to opening up an avocado. For this meal, I did all my prep work with this one knife and it worked out beautifully.
I love letting the chicken crisp up on the grill, so even though the inside stays tender and moist it can be nice to cut up the thighs with a steak knife, and New West KnifeWorks’ signature serration design cuts through meat like butter. I honestly hadn’t thought of using a steak knife for chicken much before, but I’ll definitely be reaching for them more often. And who needs another excuse to whip out the beautiful G-Fusion Steak Knife?
These bowls may seem like they have a lot going on, and when you’ve got a crowded kitchen and hungry guests it can certainly feel like a lot to prepare on your own. I’ve found that it’s definitely all about the prep work. The chicken can marinate for a few hours if needed, so I usually prep it midday and keep it in the fridge to minimize all the chopping and mixing when we’re trying to get dinner on the table. It also makes a really fun group meal; I love serving these in the summer when we have lots of guests over and I can delegate tasks, sending one friend to watch over the grill, another to tend to the beans. It doesn’t take long to have a big feast on the table!
Marinated Chicken Thighs with Black Beans and Plantains
Black Beans, Plantains, & Greens: