This week, we were supposed to have seafood. Unfortunately, the dish we wanted required crab and we just didn't make it in time to get good quality crab. As a backup, we decided to make a West Indian dish: Stew Chicken and Rice.
This dish is best made with a whole chicken that has been cut up but if you'd like to use chicken breast you can. The recipe is below:
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3-4 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 green onion chopped
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon cumin
1 lime or lemon, cut in half
1 habanero or pepper of your choice (either cut or whole)
2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
salt and black pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup water
1. Cut chicken and rinse in water and lemon/lime juice. Empty water and juice.
2. Season chicken with garlic, onion, cumin, green onion, tomato paste and salt and black pepper.
3. In a big saucepan or dutch oven set to medium high heat, add oil and let heat.
4. Add brown sugar and let caramelize to a dark brown (not black). Add chicken quickly. Put the bowl that the seasoned chicken was in aside for a moment.
5. Turn chicken so that all pieces are coated in the brown sugar. Cover pot and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
6. Using the bowl that the seasoned chicken was in, add water and swish around to pick up all leftover seasonings. Add to pot with cilantro and habanero, and let cook for another 20 minutes.
7. At this point, water should have evaporated to about 1/2 cup. You can continue to let it cook if you don't want too much gravy or you can turn it off at this point and serve on a bed of rice.
A couple of tips:
-If you like spicy foods, I recommend breaking the pepper inside the pot after the dish is cooked completely. Because the pepper was also cooking for 20 minutes, it will have built up some nice juice inside. Once popped, all those spicy juices flow all throughout the stew. My mouth is just watering thinking about it.
-I love to add either slices of fresh cucumber/tomatoes or even a nice slice of avocado just to refresh my palate in between spicy bites! You don't have to, but I recommend it.
On a side note, we won today so that made today's dish even better!