Monday, 9 October 2006

Trinidad Stew Chicken

The Multicultural Cuisine Of Trinidad and Tobago and The CaribbeanHere is the recipe for the Trinidad Stew Chicken I mentioned on Friday. I've only cooked this recipe once, so I've still got a while to perfect it. The chicken is marinated in green seasoning, a traditional Caribbean recipe, at least a couple of hours prior to cooking. Because of this, the recipe needs to be planned a little in advance.

In Europe we use the word "seasoning" to refer to adding salt and pepper. In the Caribbean however, the word seasoning is used to mean marinating. This will make enough for 4.

Naparima Girls' High SchoolAs I mentioned last week, the recipe book was published by Naparima Girls' High School in Trinidad.

Despite having been out of print for years, it has now been republished and is fast becoming famous world-wide as the definitive record of Trinidadian cuisine.

The picture illustrates something that I understand very well - great food can originate from the most humble of environments.

Ingredients:

The marinade:
8 tbsp green seasoning
4 cloves of garlic
Plentiful black pepper

Chicken thighs and drumsticks, 4 of each
6 tbsp brown sugar
40 ml vegetable oil
Half an onion, sliced
Half a red pimento, finely diced
1 hot pepper, finely diced
Chicken broth (if you have time to make it) or 1 stock cube in 2 mugs of water.

Method:

Crush the garlic and black pepper together in a pestle and mortar. Add the green seasoning and pound to combine the flavours. Place into a small bowl and add the chicken. Mix thoroughly and leave for a couple of hours.

When you're ready to start, heat 20ml of the oil in a small pan and fry the onion, hot pepper and pimento for 4 to 5 minutes to get a lightly browned colour. Meanwhile, heat the rest of the oil in a large skillet and add the brown sugar, allow it to melt. Place the chicken (with plenty of the marinade included) in skin side down and leave to colour until golden brown. Turn the chicken over and allow the same on the other side. Now put the fried onion, hot pepper and pimento into the skillet with the chicken and add the stock. Leave to stew covered until the chicken is tender, it should take 20-25 minutes. If it becomes too dry during cooking, add water (I used another 4 mugs, making 6 in total).

When I cooked this dish, I served it with saffron steamed rice and griddled baby courgette length slices. This is a very simple but delicious accompaniment to the chicken stew. I have a special cup which I have always used to measure rice in, I go by half a cup per person. So for 4 people, add the 2 cups of rice to a saucepan. Pour water up to 1 inch (2.5cm) above the level of the rice and drop in a knob of butter.

Add a pinch of saffron strands and bring to the boil. As soon as it begins to boil, turn to bottom heat and cover for 20 minutes. The water will evaporate from the steaming so you won't need to drain the rice. The courgette is simply sliced lengthways, rubbed with mustard oil and griddled on both sides which will take a matter of minutes. Cut the courgette in advance and griddle with a minute or two to go.

If you time this meal correctly, the rice and courgettes should be ready just as the chicken and you can serve everything together without any delay. Serve piping hot.

3 comments:

Robinson said...

Would a "mug" of chicken stock be the same as a cup of chicken stock?

Trig said...

Sorry - that one slipped through. Yes, I mean a large cup, as opposed to a dainty little one.

Cheers.
Trig.

Trig said...

I wanted to steer clear of American measurements like the so-called "cup", as I'm not familiar with them myself.


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