This Whole30 Cuban Chicken and Cauliflower Rice is crispy, flavorful, and filling for the perfect unique dinner that’ll keep you on track!
It’s that time of year again! It seems like everyone is resetting their bodies after the holidays with a new ear round of Whole30. If you’re stumped on unique ideas that’ll satisfy your dinner woes, this Whole30 Cuban Chicken and Cauliflower Rice has to be on your rotation.
When Matt and I did our first round of Whole30, our favorite go-to snack was plantain chips and guacamole from Trader Joes. I know that part of the point of Whole30 is to discourage snacking but whatever, I don’t care. Since most typical chicken coatings are definitely not Whole30 compliant (Sup, panko.), I was on the hunt for something that would give me that same satisfying crunch. I like using nuts like walnuts, pecans, and almonds to coat protein, but even those don’t end up with the same crisp that I’m looking for. Enter: Plantain chips. Just make sure you’re not getting the sweetened variety and you’re good to go! I like the ones from Trader Joes because they’re super cheap, but you should be able to find them anywhere in the chip aisle! All you have to do is give them a blitz in the food processor to make the crispiest, crunchiest coating ever. You can even put them in a plastic bag and give them a whack if you don’t have a food processor! To pair with these fun nuggets, I made a picadillo-inspired cauliflower rice that’s flavored with green olives, raisins, garlic and red onion. I’ve made a ton of cauliflower rice variations but I love the sweet and salty bite from the olives and raisins here. If you’re getting b0red with eating the same Whole30 recipes over and over, this meal is definitely for you!
- 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 1" nuggets
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1½ cups unsweetened plantain chips, pulsed in food process until it becomes a flour
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1½ tbsp coconut oil
- 3 cups riced cauliflower (I prefer frozen)
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- ¼ cup sliced red onion
- ⅓ cup unsweetened raisins
- ½ cup green olives
- juice of 1 lime
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
- juice of ½ an orange
- Pulse the plantain chips in a food processor until the crumbs are fine and resemble flour.
- In a separate bowl, mix plantain flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder and chili powder.
- Preheat air fryer at 400ºF for 5 minutes.
- While air fryer is preheating prepare nuggets.
- Coat each piece of chicken in egg then dredge in plantain flour mixture. Once all nuggets are coated in flour, dredge a second time.
- Evenly layer nuggets in your air fryer basket and air fry at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Give them a shake about half way through cooking time. I don't have to oil my air fryer basket but you may need to. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the cauliflower rice.
- Bring a skillet to medium-high heat with the coconut oil. When the skillet is heated, add in the cauliflower, garlic, and red onion. Stir and cook until cauliflower is tender. Add in the raisins and olives and stir until they're just warmed through. Add in the lime juice and cilantro and stir to evenly combine. Taste, and season with salt as needed.
- Plate the cauliflower rice and top with the air-fried chicken. Finish with some fresh black pepper and a squeeze of orange juice over the top. Serve immediately.