Cacao Restaurant
141 Giralda Avenue
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(305) 445-1001

Reina Pepiada Arepa Chips
Chef Edgar Leal of Cacao Restaurant – Coral Gables, FL
Adapted by StarChefs Reina Pepiada Arepa Chips on StarChefs

Yield: 4 Servings

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces white meat chicken, finely diced
  • 4 Tablespoons homemade mayonnaise (or substitute commercial mayonnaise)
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
    Arepa chips:
  • 1 cup Harina Pan corn flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
For chicken:

Heat a sauté pan on medium heat. Add vegetable oil, onions and garlic and cook until caramelized. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon. When the chicken is done, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool in the refrigerator. Once the chicken has cooled, mix it with homemade mayonnaise, Tabasco sauce and salt and pepper.

In another bowl, mash avocado and cilantro with a fork, and season mixture with salt and pepper.

For arepa chips:
Add corn flour, water and olive oil to a bowl. Mix the ingredients and knead dough until it forms a uniform ball. On a Silpat, roll out dough with a rolling pin until it is very thin. Cut dough into round circles using a cookie cutter.

In a preheated 400F oven, bake circles on the Silpat for 8 minutes. The chips are ready when they are almond colored.

For presentation, assemble a four-tier tower, placing an arepa chip on the bottom, then adding a small amount of chicken, mashed avocado and topping with another chip. Repeat this four times. When finished, garnish with cilantro oil or additional chopped cilantro.

Wine pairing:
A fruity New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc such as the Huia Sauvignon Blanc 2003

Packing tips:
Place chicken mixture in a sealed plastic container. Since it contains mayonnaise, put it at the bottom of your cooler where it is the coldest and remove just prior to serving. Place avocado mixture in a separate plastic container. If desired, add freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice to the avocado to prevent discoloration. Also, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the avocado mixture to keep it from turning brown. Wrap arepa chips in aluminum foil or place in an airtight container. Assemble the dish once you have reached your picnic destination, or for a more casual outing, just serve the chicken and avocado with the chips on the side.


Published: August 2004