On my second night in Havana; my hosts were preparing dinner for me so, I watched them while they were cooking to get recipes for you guys. Here is how locals cook their delicious Cuban rice and chicken, and fried plantains.

Cuban rice and black beans:


  • Two tsp olive oil,
  • Two tsp white Cuban wine,
  • 1/2 chopped small onion,
  • Two cloves minced garlic,
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice,
  • 2 cups of black beans (don’t drain),
  • 1 1/2 cups water,
  • 1/2 tsp cumin,
  • salt and black pepper,

Tips: Before I start, I want to let you know that there is an easy way to cook beans instead of using ready to eat canned black beans. It is a long process, but your beans taste better than the canned ones. Soak 2 cups of black beans in 3-4 cups of water night before you are planning to cook the rice. Cover the pot and let them soak overnight. In the morning, black beans will absorb most of the water. Add more water and half chopped onion into the pot. Let it cook about 45-60 minutes.


In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté about 4-5 minutes.

Add beans and wine. Cook it about 5 minutes

Then, add rice, water, and spices. Simmer on medium-low heat, occasionally stirring, until the rice absorbs most of the water

Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Make sure you have a good seal on your cover. Steam cooks the rice. After 20 minutes, turn off the stove and let it sit.

Cuban Chicken:


  • One large chicken breast,
  • Two tsp olive oil,
  • Two cloves minced garlic,
  • 1/2 tsp cumin,
  • Two tsp white Cuban wine
  • 1/2 chopped small onion
  • salt


Cut the chicken breast into small pieces.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Cook and stir onion in hot oil until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and continue to cook and stir about two minutes more.

Add and stir chicken, wine, cumin, and salt. Cook about 7-10 minutes.

Fried Plantains:

The quantity depends on how much you like plantations, to be honest, but I usually get two large plantains, peel them, slice them, then fry them until browned and tender.  Enjoy!

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  1. Whitney | 16th Apr 18

    This looks delish! I am for sure going to try this!

    • Melissa | 16th Apr 18

      Let me know after you try Whitney!

  2. Moon | 16th Apr 18

    Absolutely loved it! Have to search for white cuban wine now…

    • Melissa | 16th Apr 18

      I hear you, I have to do the same in New York! Let’s see if I can find one 🙂

  3. Cynthia Crosby | 16th Apr 18

    Hello, there this is a really great recipe

    • Melissa | 16th Apr 18

      Thanks to my hosts in Cuba! They were really kind and caring people!

  4. Seanna | 16th Apr 18

    The fried plantains look so good 🙂 I remember in Junior High we were learning about Haiti, so we made deep fried bananas… almost the same, but the real thing like you’re showing us looks so much tastier!

  5. Karolina | 4th Jun 18

    Sounds tasty. I’m curious to try fried plantains.

  6. Jena Leigh | 4th Jun 18

    Love cuban food! And those plantains are great for snacking too😊

  7. LaRena Fry | 4th Jun 18

    Sounds awesome!

  8. Gemma | 5th Jun 18

    I have never used wine in my rice and beans. I will have to try this out.

    • Melissa | 6th Jun 18

      Tasted so good with the wine they used. I wish I can find the same wine in New York 🙁
      I will let you know if I find it in future tho. You should definitely try! 🙂

  9. Kathryn | 6th Jun 18

    Yum look delicious.. but I would love to try those plantains! What do they taste like? Great recipe,!! Thanks for sharing

    • Melissa | 6th Jun 18

      Thanks, Kathrin. When I had plantains at the Cuban place in NY before visiting Cuba; I thought they were fried bananas with honey. They look and taste like bananas, but the taste is better and sweeter. When you buy them, make sure you are getting the ripe ones in yellow color. The green ones are really hard to cook.

  10. Phill Slater | 18th Jun 18

    This looks lovely. I’ve always wanted to visit Cuba.

  11. Melissa | 19th Jun 18

    Omg this looks amazing!

  12. Gonçalo Cruz | 20th Jun 18

    I will do this tomorrow! I hope I can do it with Cuban Chicken with Portuguese wine, but I will try to find a Cuban Wine here in Portugal. Thank you so much for sharing these recipes!

    • Melissa | 21st Jun 18

      That sounds good 🙂 Let me know after you try Goncalo!

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