The supreme Maryland is a slam dunk in the most literal sense of the word. Some chicken breasts and some breaded and fried plantains, straw potatoes and a bechamel with corn are the base of this dish to eat on special occasions, due to its forceful and laborious nature. Although it is common to find it in the canteens of Buenos Aires and is rooted in Buenos Aires gastronomy, it is not at all a recipe originating in Argentina.
Its history is not entirely clear, but the most logical and reliable theory indicates that it comes from the chicken Maryland, from the US state of the same name, where fried chicken is extremely popular and plantains (bananas) were one of the most imported products in the region. The way of preparing it differs in some details such as cooking the chicken in its own fat, making the bechamel –without corn– from the bottom of the cooking meat or frying the banana without previously breading it. August Escoffier, a French chef, also created his recipe version and in it you can see some changes adopted by the Argentines: it incorporates the corn in a kind of pancakes and passes the chicken through flour, egg and bread.
In the supreme Maryland that you could eat in Buenos Aires you will find corn incorporated into the bechamel sauce, breaded chicken and plantains, papas pay -straw potatoes in Spain- and a series of side dishes that can vary from one place to another: bacon, pepper roasted red bell pepper, sautéed spinach or peas.
It is not difficult but it is laborious.
for 4 people
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 3 large eggs
- 100 g of wheat flour
- 250 g of breadcrumbs (approximately)
- A small handful of fresh parsley (optional)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
- 2 not very ripe bananas
- 4 potatoes to fry
- 15g butter
- 200ml whole milk
- ½ onion
- 150 g corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
- 200g fresh spinach
- sunflower oil for frying
- mild olive oil
- fine salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 100 ºC: we will use it to keep the fried foods warm once they are ready.
Start by preparing the bechamel. Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan and add 15 g of the flour. Cook until it smells slightly toasted, stirring constantly. Add the milk and stir continuously until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste. Reserve covered.
Chop the onion into brunoise -small cubes- and fry it in a frying pan with two or three tablespoons of mild olive oil or butter. Meanwhile, grind half the corn with a blender or food processor. Add the crushed corn and the whole corn to the onion, fry for a few minutes and add to the bechamel sauce. Mix everything and reserve (so that a dry layer does not form on top, cover with a film in contact with the sauce).
With a sharp knife cut the breasts into fillets. No more than four should come out of each breast, they should not be too thin to prevent them from being dry once fried. Season.
On a plate, beat two eggs with the chopped fresh parsley, the garlic powder and fine salt. In another plate place the breadcrumbs and in another the flour.
Pass the fillets through flour, egg and breadcrumbs and place them on a tray. Reserve.
Peel the bananas and cut them lengthwise in half. Beat the remaining egg on a plate and add a pinch of salt. Dip the bananas in the egg and breadcrumbs. Place on the tray and reserve.
Clean and peel the potatoes. Cut them in half, then into thin slices between two and five mm and then into sticks of the same thickness. Place on a clean cloth and dry.
Heat abundant sunflower oil in a fryer, frying pan or large pot. When the oil is hot, fry the supremes and plantains until golden brown. It is preferable to do it in batches so that they do not stick. Place them on a tray with absorbent paper and put them in the oven to keep everything warm (in another tray without paper).
Fry the potatoes in batches, moving them from time to time. It’s easy for these potatoes to stick together, so it’s important to move them around and make them in small batches. Remove, place on a plate with absorbent paper and salt.
Wash and sauté the spinach in a pan with a little oil until just tender. Season.
Serve the chicken breasts, the plantains, the potatoes, the creamed corn -heat if necessary- and the spinach on a tray.
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