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1999 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken


Wine suggestion
A crisp Chardonnay from Chablis, Grand Cru: Jean Collet Chablis, Grand Cru "Valmur," 1998

Yields: 4 entrées

Calypso Spice Rub

  • 2 Tablespoons ground ancho chiles, stem and seeds discarded
  • 4 Tablespoons whole cumin seeds
  • 4 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons dried powdered ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Toast and grind together the cumin, coriander, mustard seeds cloves black peppercorn. Mix with the rest of ingredients.


  • 1 very ripe plantain, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch size pieces
  • 2 ounces foie gras, cut into very small pieces (optional)
  • 2 ounces butter, cut into very small pieces (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a sauté pan until quite hot. Now add some peanut oil and fry the plantain pieces until they are quite dark on all sides. Remove them to paper toweling to drain. Now place the cooked plantain in a bowl and mash in the foie gras and the butter. Season to taste and set aside.

"My Very Black Beans"

3-4 cups "My Very Black Beans" (see below) a pinch more of the "Calypso Spice Rub" for flavor

Yield: 3 cups

  • 1 ounce smoked bacon, diced
  • 1/2 Tablespoon pure olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 jalapeños, stems and seeds discarded, minced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and diced medium small
  • 1 large stalk celery, cleaned and diced medium small
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced medium small
  • 1/2 Tablespoon toasted and freshly ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon toasted and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, broken
  • 1/4 cup Spanish sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup dried black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • Pepper to taste

Heat the pot over medium heat to start. Add in the bacon and the olive oil. Allow the bacon to cook until almost done. Now add the butter. When the butter foams add the garlic and jalapeños. Allow them to flavor the fats first, stirring (only about 30 seconds). Now turn the heat to medium-high add in the remaining vegetables. Stir to coat. Cook until some nice carmelization occurs, (stirring only occasionally) about 10 minutes. When the vegetables are nicely caramelized add the cumin, black pepper and bay leaves.

Add the vinegar. Now add the drained beans, ham hocks and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Skim off any impurities that come to the surface with a spoon.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the beans, uncovered, until they are just soft, 1 1/2-2 hours. Add more stock or water as necessary. Season to taste and set aside.


  • 4 fresh, skin-on chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper

When you are ready to cook the dish:

Pre-heat an oven to 400°F.

Cut a pocket in the underside of the chicken and spoon the "Mofongo" into it. Cover the pocket back up and season the stuffed breast with the "Calypso Rub".

Now combine the flour and cornmeal with the salt and pepper and dredge the four breasts in that. Set aside.

Heat the black bean sauce back up and keep warm.

Heat a large heavy skillet and then add some peanut oil into it. Begin cooking the breasts, skin side down. Allow to get crisp on each side. Now place the skillet into the oven and cook approximately 10 minutes. Remove and allow to rest.

Return the black beans to high heat and season with a touch of the "rub" to taste. Now place about 3-4 ounces of the bean sauce onto the bottom of four warm attractive plates. Center the cooked, stuffed chicken on top of the sauce. Serve.