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How to make papas rellenas

Chef Geoff Bragg shows us how to make a popular Cuban street food item that The Common Market Oakwold now offers.



Braised Chicken

Chicken Filling (For Cuban Menu)

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thigh meat

3 Tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Chili powder

½ tsp Smoked paprika

½ tsp Oregano

½ tsp Granulated garlic

½ tsp Granulated onion

½ tsp Coriander

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

3 c chicken broth

Preheat oven to 325

Put the chicken in a mixing bowl. Add the oil and all of the spices. Mix thoroughly. Allow the chicken to sit in the dry rub for at least 20 minutes.

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Once it is hot, add some oil (not too much) then add the some of the thigh meat. Brown thoroughly on both sides. Do not over crowd the pan and stay flexible with your heat levels. You will have to work in batches.

Once the meat has browned, transfer it to an over proof dish. Add the chicken broth (just enough to cover the chicken in the dish) and cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Poke a hole in the aluminum to allow the mixture to vent while it cooks and put it in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken has reached 165. Pull the dish from the oven, remove the foil and allow the chicken to cool in the liquid. This is important as it ensures your chicken stays moist.


2 tablespoon oil

1 cup onion, diced

1 cup red or green bell pepper, diced

1 Tbs fresh minced garlic

1 pound ground beef, browned off and drained

½ c green olives, chopped roughly

½ cup tomato paste

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 c beef or chicken broth

½ c raisins

Salt to taste

Heat a pot over high heat. Once the pot is hot, add the oil then immediately add your onions and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes, do not allow the onions to brown. Add the peppers, cumin and oregano. Saute for another 30 seconds, add the tomato paste. Stir over high heat until the tomato paste just starts to brown. Add the beef, beef broth, raisins, Worcestershire and olives. Bring to temperature then reduce heat to a low simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until picadillo has thickened and there are no more soupy deposits.

Duxelle Filling 

8 c minced mixed mushrooms

1 ½ c minced yellow onion

2 T garlic

1 c veg stock

2 T fresh thyme


Sauté onion and garlic in oil

add mushrooms

saute for 3 minutes

add veg stock, salt pepper and thyme, saute until %90 moisture is gone

cool on sheet pan

To make the rellenas, put about 5 lbs of small white potatoes in a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil. cook until you can push a wooden skewer all the way through one, lift it out of the water and it should slide slowly back down into the pot after that. The cook time obviously depends on the size of the potato.

Drain the potatoes and spread them out on a sheet pan. Allow to cool to the point where you can handle them but they are not cold. Scrape the skin away with a spoon or butter knife. Then run them on a cheese grater the same way you would a block of cheese. Unless you have a food mill. the use the food mill. But we don't all have those so the cheese grater makes an excellent pulp.

To form the rellenas, take a golf ball sized scoop of the potato meal and press it down into your hand to make a flat circle. Use a small scoop or spoon to put your filling in the middle. Bring the edges up like a flower closing up for the night. Bring both hands around the ball to form it into a ball and squeeze to close all the seams.


Bread them as you would anything. At the Common market, to keep them gluten-free we do a classic 3-part breading process using gluten-free flour in the first step, egg wash in the second and very finely ground corn flakes for the third.

Fry them at 350 for about 4 minutes and serve immediately.