La Bandera Dominicana is a traditional dish in the Dominican Republic consisting mainly of boiled rice, beans and stewed meat. Each component is cooked separately but served together on one plate.
The beans, usually red kidney beans, are cooked in a tomato sauce until thick and creamy. The meat can be stewed or roasted but using stewed meat is most popular. A small quantity of oil is often added to the cooked rice to create a dry, golden colored crispy layer at the bottom of the pan called concon.
Traditionally, the most popular and most affordable meat used to make La Bandera is chicken. However, beef, pork, goat and even seafood can be used instead.
While rice, beans and meat make up the main dish, La Bandera Dominicana is often served with other additions. Some of these are tomato salad or green salad, sliced avocado, fried sweet plantains or a popular side dish called tostones. Tostones are green plantains which are sliced and fried. After frying they are smashed into flat discs and fried a second time.
Origin and Cultural Significance
La Bandera Dominicana means The Dominican flag. The colors of the flag are red, white and blue. The rice represents the white, the beans represent the red and the meat represents the blue. It is a staple in Dominican households and restaurants. La Bandera Dominicana is filling meal and is usually eaten for lunch or el plato del dia, the dish of the day.
- Vegetable oil - 5 tbsp
- Salt - 2 tsp
- Long grain white rice - 4 cups
- Dry red kidney beans - 2 cups
- Olive oil - 1 tbsp
- Ground oregano - 1 tbsp
- Bell pepper, chopped - 1
- Onion, chopped - 1
- Garlic clove, crushed - 1
- Tomato sauce - 1 cup
- Fresh cilantro, chopped - 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Chicken, cut into small pieces - 2 lbs.
- Limes - 2
- Ground oregano - 1/4 tsp
- Small red onion, chopped - 1
- Salt - 1 tsp (more may be necessary)
- Garlic, crushed - 1/2 tsp
- Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
- White sugar - 1 tsp
- Water - 2 cups
- Tomatoes, cut into quarters - 4
- Green bell peppers, chopped - 2
- Tomato sauce - 1 cup
- Fresh cilantro leaves - 1 bunch
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Combine oil, salt, and water and heat over medium heat.
- Add the rice when the water begins to boil stirring regularly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
- When the water has evaporated, cover with the lid and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes.
- Add the remaining oil and cover again. This oil will make the concón crispier.
- Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until rice is soft.
- As soon as the rice is ready, remove it from the pot and place it in a serving dish (this prevents the concón from getting soggy). Scrape off the concón (rice stuck to the bottom) and serve on the side.
- Soak the beans overnight. This will lessen the cooking time.
- Remove the beans from the soaking water and boil in fresh water until they are very soft.
- Drain the beans and save the liquid.
- In a pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add oregano, bell pepper, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and cilantro. Cook and stir for half a minute. Add the beans and simmer for two minutes.
- Pour in 4 cups of the water in which the beans boiled (complete with freshwater if necessary). Once it reaches a rolling boil, lightly mashed the beans with a potato masher to break them out of the skin and making creamier beans. Cook until it reaches a creamy consistency.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Cut the chicken into small pieces and place in a bowl that has a lid. Squeeze the juice from the limes onto the chicken.
- Add the oregano, onion, celery, salt, and garlic and mix. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- In a pot heat the oil over medium heat, add sugar, and wait until it starts to turn brown. Add the chicken (reserve all the other things in the marinade for use in a later step) and cook and stir until the meat is light brown.
- Add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring and adding water by the tablespoon as it becomes necessary to prevent it from burning.
- Stir in the vegetables that you had set aside from marinating the chicken, plus the peppers and tomatoes. Cover, and simmer until the vegetables are cooked through, adding water by the tablespoon and stirring as it becomes necessary.
- Add the tomato sauce and half a cup of water, simmer over low heat to make a light sauce. The vegetables will be very soft, the sauce a bit thick, and the chicken fall-off-the-bone tender.
- Add the fresh cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 694Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 1449mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 7gSugar: 8gProtein: 43g
Photo credit: Asalas03