Archive | Chicken

The Ultimate Curry Turkey Necks Recipe.

The Ultimate Curry Turkey Necks Recipe.

One thing you’ll quickly notice about the cuisine of the Caribbean is that we ‘doh waste”. This usually means that things like necks, backs, feet.. even pigs ears, trotters and snouts are used to perfection in many of the dishes throughout the region. We never had turkey necks (or turkey as a matter of fact) when we were growing up, as it wasn’t a common poultry on the islands back in those days. How times have changed!

The boney texture of the turkey necks allows for a delicious curry and if you’re not squeamish, it will be one of the best curry dishes you ever enjoy. If you’re daring kick up the heat level as I find that a spicy curry takes on a whole new dimension.

You’ll Need…

3 lbs turkey necks

Marinade…

1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder (for marinating the turkey)
2 scallions (green onions)
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (or to your liking)
1 teaspoon ketchup

Cooking…

2 tablespoon veg oil
1 onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (diced)
1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
3 cups water
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro – garnish at the end.

Wash, drain and marinate the turkey necks with the ingredients mentioned in the marinade list above. Overnight in the fridge will be best, but if you’re in a rush try to get about 2 hours.

Heat the oil on a medium flame then add the garlic and onion… reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 3 minutes. Just to soften up and helps with a lovely flavor base. Then toss in the curry powder (heat still on low) and cook for another 2-4 minutes. This will toast the spices in the curry powder and help them bloom… plus it will cook the curry so you don’t get a raw curry taste at the end.

The curry will go darker in color and take on a grainy texture… then start clumping together. Turn up the heat to high and start adding the seasoned turkey necks to the pot. It’s ok if the marinade gets it there and try to deglaze the pot so we get all that lovely curry goodness from the bottom of the pot. After the necks take on a bit of color (about 2-3 minutes) reduce the heat to low, place the lid on the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. It will spring it’s own natural juices.

Then remove the lid, turn up the heat and grate in the ginger. This step is to do two things, burn off all the liquid and in the process give the dish a rich color and infuse it with massive curry flavor (stir). Pour the 3 cups of water into the same container you had the necks marinating in and swish it around to pick up any remaining marinade.

With all the liquid in the pot burnt off, add in the water and bring to a boil.

You’ll need some patience now.. turn the heat down to low and let it simmer (braise) for about 2 hours. The idea is to have very tender turkey necks when it’s all done.

* If you’d like you can certainly use a pressure cooker to cut back the cooking time for this dish by at least 1.5 hrs or if you want low and slow, a slow cooker will work as well. The first few steps must be done first though (cook curry powder, add seasoned turkey and then burn off initial liquid.. this will give you that rich curry flavor we expect from a good curry).

After a couple hrs you can now test for salt and adjust accordingly, if the gravy is thin you can turn up the heat and thicken it a bit more (or burn off all if you want a more infused curry) and top with some chopped cilantro or culantro (shado  beni).

Treat this curry turkey necks as you would any curry meat dish.. goes well with rice, roti, ground provisions, flour dumplings and even bread! Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! Leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

 

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Quick And Tasty Curry Chicken Livers

Quick And Tasty Curry Chicken Livers

A coworker had invited me out for lunch many moons ago saying that the restaurant in the mall where we worked had the best liver with onions on special every Thursday… I still recall his enthusiasm when he spoke about how delicious they were. I also recall other coworkers having a sort of disgusting look on their faces as they heard him describe  this liver with onions. No-Lie it was the most revolting thing I had ever tasted. Still a bit bloody and that metallic taste stuck with me the rest of the day. No wonder parents in North America struggle to get their children to eat chicken liver. It’s the way YOU cook it!

If you’ve tried my other chicken liver recipe : Caribbean Inspired Stewed Livers , you’ll know it’s all about flavor so don’t be alarmed when I get all the liver haters loving livers.

 

You’ll Need…

1 lb Chicken Livers
pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon veg oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup bell pepper
2 scallions (green onions)
1 shallot (or small onion)
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
4 bird’s eye pepper (or 1/4 scotch bonnet)
3 leaves shado beni (or cilantro)

1 tablespoon curry powder

Note: Shado Beni (Chadon beni) can be found at most West Indian stores as well as Asian and Latino markets where it may be called culantro. The best substitute is cilantro or coriander.

Prepare the ingredients (slice the shallot, bell pepper and scallion, then diced the garlic and shado beni). Please leave the bird’s eye pepper whole as we want the flavor but not the raw heat. Obviously if you want the kick, dice them. Bearing in mind that the seeds will pack a real kick if you include them.  Clean, chop the liver in equal sized pieces (so they cook evenly) and wash/ drain.

Heat the oil on a medium heat then add the shallots and garlic, lower the heat and let it cook slowly for a couple minutes. Now add the curry powder and cook (still on low) for another 2-3 minutes. The curry will go a bit darker and grainy. The goal here is to wake-up the spices which make up the curry blend.

Toss in the whole peppers (stems removed) and heat through, then add the pieces of liver to the pot and stir well to coat with that lovely curry base we created. Turn the heat up to medium/high now. Then top with everything else except the shado beni, stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.

It’s important to not cover the pot or it will release a ton of moisture and then it will mean cooking longer than necessary to burn off that liquid. The last minute of cooking, top with the finely chopped shado beni or cilantro. Taste for salt as your tolerance for salt will be different than mine.

Now here’s the kicker (after my gallivanting above about how YOU cook livers).. our girls refuse to eat liver, even with this delicious version. Liver has a bad reputation, falsely spread by people who (in most cases) have never given them a try. Yes the texture is a bit weird, but once cooked correctly, the tasty flavor will make up for that. Serve warm!

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! Leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Caribbean Stewed Chicken With Red Beans Recipe.

Caribbean Stewed Chicken With Red Beans Recipe.

This recipe is one of my favorite dishes to prepare when I’m homesick or when things are not going well and I need a pick-me-up! It combines two dishes I just adore, Trinidad stew chicken and stewed red beans. Two things mom would cook on Sunday’s when the entire family were together… pure joy! It works well as a side to rice, roti, dumplings, ground provisions.. even pasta! And if you want you can add some coconut dumplings the last 10 minutes of cooking  and make it a true one pot meal.

You’ll Need

3 Lbs Chicken (I like using drum sticks)
1 scallion (chopped)
1 onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (diced)
1 teaspoon ketchup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
3 sprigs thyme
3 drops worcheshire sauce
1 small tomato (chopped)
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
2 cups water
1 can red kidney beans (rinsed/drained)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon veg oil

 

Wash and season the chicken with all the ingredients except, the water, beans, sugar and oil. Allow this to marinate for about 2 hrs or 15 minutes if you’re in a rush. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water after handling the scotch bonnet pepper and don’t include any of the seeds if you’re concerned about the raw heat.

Heat the oil in a deep pan on med/high, then add the sugar and stir well. Be sure to use a dry metal spoon and have the seasoned chicken close. This will all about timing for the ultimate flavor and color. As the sugar melts it will go liquid, then frothy and start changing color. Let it go until you have a rich amber color (NOT BLACK or it will taste burnt), then start adding the pieces of seasoned chicken to the pot. Mix as you do to coat the chicken pieces with the lovely caramelized colour. Don’t worry it won’t be sweet! Place the lid on the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5-8 minutes. It will spring it’s own juices.

Now remove the lid and turn up the heat to burn off any liquid. This will intensify the color and flavor of the chicken. As this cooks down, add the 2 cups of water to the bowl you had the chicken marinating in (to pick up any remaining marinade) and rinse off the red beans.

With all the liquid gone from the pot, add the water and top with the beans, then bring to a boil. Lid closed, simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.

After 20 minutes or so, taste for salt and adjust accordingly and if you find that the gravy is a bit ‘thin’ turn up the heat (lid off) and reduce to the consistency you like. Personally I like it a bit thick. Remember that it will thicken up a bit as it cools.

This is a very comforting dish, packed with rich Caribbean flavors and it’s something your family will be asking for on the regular.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

 

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Curry Cabbage With Leftover Caribbean Stewed Chicken.

Curry Cabbage With Leftover Caribbean Stewed Chicken.

Cabbage is another one of those vegetables mom could never get us to eat, unless it was in chow mein or if she added leftover stewed meats to it. However these days you can always find cabbage in our crisper in the fridge as I add it to many dishes I prepare. Especially if I’m trying to ‘stretch’ a dish to feed more people. With left-over stewed chicken in the fridge, I thought this would be an excellent time to share the curry cabbage with stewed chicken mom would bribe us into eating cabbage when we were kids.

If you’re new to the website and don’t know what ‘Stewed chicken” is, see: Tasty Trinidad style stew chicken recipe.

 

You’ll Need…

1 medium cabbage (shredded)
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon curry powder (your fav)
2 tablespoon veg oil
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* left over stewed chicken

 

Notes: I used a Caribbean made Madras curry powder in making this dish , but you’re free to use your favorite kind. This dish is just as delicious if you choose not to add any meats and have it fully vegetarian.

Shred the cabbage, crush the garlic, dice the onion and slice the scotch bonnet pepper (don’t use any of the seeds of the pepper or it will be very spicy). Then heat the oil on a medium flame and add the garlic and onion. Turn the heat down to low and allow this to slowly cook for 3-5 minutes.

With you heat still on low, add the curry powder and black pepper and mix around. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.. basically we’re toasting the curry powder to release all the flavors of the spices. It will go darker and grainy.

Turn the heat up to medium and start adding the cabbage, it will wilt as it cooks in the event you find that your pan is crowded. Add the scotch bonnet pepper and salt.

Turn the heat down to med-low, cover the pot and let it go for about 7 minutes or so. Stir a couple times during this cooking period.

Remove the lid (here is where you’ll personalize it a bit) and taste for salt and see if the texture is close to how you like it. Add the pieces of leftover stewed chicken, stir and turn up the heat to burn off any excess liquid (about 3-4 minutes).

For a little flair I added some chopped cherry tomatoes at the end. This is a wonderful side dish and goes well with rice or roti and is excellent on sandwiches.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Curry Chicken With Eggplant Simmered In Coconut Milk.

Curry Chicken With Eggplant Simmered In Coconut Milk.

Even as child my mom recalls how much I loved eggplant (baigan), stewed, curry and my all-time favorite , roasted over an open flame and made into baigan choka. Today that affection for eggplant aka aubergine, baigan, brinjal, brinjal eggplant and melongene is just as strong and I try to find different ways to put this lovely vegetable to use. In this recipe we’ll go through the steps of making a classic Caribbean style curry chicken, then we’ll add the cubed eggplant along with some potatoes into the pot with the coconut milk and let it simmer to perfection in the curry sauce.

 

You’ll Need…

3 lbs chicken thighs (skinless)
1 large eggplant
4 medium potatoes
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon veg oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Caribbean green seasoning
2 tablespoon curry powder
3 birds eye (bird pepper) pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water

Notes. I like using a madras blend curry made in the Caribbean, but you can use your fav. Feel free to use 1/4 scotch bonnet pepper instead of the bird pepper.

Wash, drain and season the chicken with the salt, black pepper and Caribbean Green Seasoning, then allow it to marinate for about 2 hours.

Now heat the oil on a medium flame (in a deep sauce pan) and add the diced onion and garlic to the pot. Turn the heat down to low and let that cook for about 3 minutes so they soften up and start a lovely flavor base.


With your heat still on low, add the curry powder, stir well and let that toast for about 3-5 minutes. The curry will go darker, start to go grainy and take on a wonderful scent. Be sure the heat is on low to avoid the curry burning. In this step we’re cooking the curry so you don’t get that ‘raw’ curry taste when the dish is done cooking. We’re also awakening the spices which make up the curry powder.

15 minutes before you’re ready to cook, take the marinating chicken out of the fridge so it comes back to room temperature. Now add the seasoned chicken to the pot, turn up the heat so you can sear the chicken and get the pieces covered in the curry base we made. Turn the heat back down to med/low, place the lid on and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Add the birds eye peppers at this time as well.

The chicken will release it’s own natural juices, so turn the heat up and burn off that liquid. This will help to intensify the curry flavor of the chicken. It’s now time to add the cubed eggplant (you can peel it or leave it with the skin on), the cubed potatoes and  top it with the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil (raise the heat), then reduce to a simmer and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the potato pieces are tender. You can have the lid slightly ajar as it cooks and do remember to stir every 5-8 minutes.

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Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. If the sauce (gravy) is thin all you have to do is press a few pieces of the potato with the back of your spoon to crush them and it will help thicken up things. This curry chicken with eggplant will not be the most attractive dish, but I assure the curry base with the addition of the coconut milk will ensure you have a very flavorsome dish.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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A Non Traditional Stove Top Jerk Chicken.

A Non Traditional Stove Top Jerk Chicken.

There’s been a lot of discussion, hate and much love for this recipe after I posted the recipe video online. In an effort to prevent the traditionalists from getting uneasy when they go through this recipe, let me be clear that this is NOT a traditional jerk chicken recipe. This stove top jerk chicken recipe is mainly for anyone who do not have access to either a bbq, grill and/or pimento wood. It’s an effort to mimic the flavors you’ve come to enjoy from classic jerk, but with the convenience of using a sauce pan.

BTW, for those of you who wrote in asking for a gravy to go with your jerk chicken.. stay tuned, this gravy will blow your socks off!

 

You’ll Need….

3lbs chicken drums

Marinade

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 pimento berries (or 1 teaspoon ground allspice)
3 scallions
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
6 springs thyme
1 med onion
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon veg oil
juice 1/2 lemon
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon honey

* garnish with chopped parsley

Place all the ingredients mention for the marinade into a food processor of blender (chop finely and mix well if you don’t have access to a blender), then pour it over the washed/drained chicken pieces and allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge.

Heat  1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a deep sauce pan (tip – use a non stick pan for better browning), knock off most of the marinade off the chicken pieces and brown on med-high heat. Takes about 10 minutes or so to get some colour.

Add in the honey and tomato paste and give it a good stir. This will add some lovely colour to the dish and the honey will help balance off the heat of the scotch bonnet pepper. P0ur in the lemon juice and chicken stock followed by 3/4 cup of the jerk marinade the chicken was sitting in. Turn the heat up to bring it to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for 20 minutes. Now remove the lid and turn up the heat to burn off any excess liquid. Here’s where you’ll taste it for salt (adjust accordingly) and thicken the gravy to the desired consistency.

Your kitchen will have the wonderful scent of the ginger, spices and herbs from the marinade and to be quite honest you’ll be counting down the minutes to dive in. Garnish with some chopped parsley and get ready to enjoy some of the most delicious jerk chicken NOT made the traditional way. It may take on the appearance of stewed chicken, but I assure you there’s no mistaken the jerk elements of this tasty dish.

I almost feel as if I’m trying too hard to add validity to this recipe, but give it a try then come back and leave your comments!

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Classic Coconut Curry Chicken With String Beans.

Classic Coconut Curry Chicken With String Beans.

This is a delightful dish our mom would prepare whenever there was leftover chicken from the day before (usually on a Monday). She would curry the beans and the last 5 minutes or so add in the chicken pieces for the perfect accompaniment for boiled rice or hot roti off the tawa. In this version I’ll do things a little different by doing the curry chicken base first, then we’ll add the trimmed beans and simmer it all in some coconut milk.

You’ll Need…

1.5 lbs chicken thighs
1 lb string beans
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Caribbean green seasoning
2 tablespoon veg oil
1.5 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon amchar massala (optional)
1 shallot
4 cloves garlic
5 birds eye pepper (aka bird pepper)
1 cup coconut milk

Notes. I used a madras curry blend (made in the Caribbean). The chicken thighs were deboned, but feel free to use bone-in (about 2lbs).. cook a little longer. Do NOT cut the peppers, simply remove the stems and use whole. We’ll get some flavor from them, without the raw heat.

Cut the chicken into 1 -2 inch pieces, wash and drain. Then season with the salt, black pepper, green seasoning and amchar massala (you can also use ground roasted geera – cumin) and allow to marinate for about 1 hour. In the meantime you can trim the string beans (simply cut off the tips and cut into 2 inch pieces).

Heat the oil in a fairly large pan on med-high, then add the chopped shallot (you can also use onion) and garlic and turn the heat down to low. Cook this gently for about 3 minutes. Then add the curry powder and stir well. Cook for a further 3 minutes to get the raw curry taste out. It will go darker in colour and go a bit grainy.

Now add the peppers (do not break them unless you want the heat) and cook for about 30 seconds, then add in the seasoned chicken and mix well to deglaze the pan and to coat the chicken pieces with the lovely curry base we created.

Turn the heat up to medium/high and cook the chicken with the lid uncovered for about 4-5 minutes. Then add the trimmed beans and coconut milk (remember to give it a good stir) and bring to a boil.  Place the lid on the pan and cook for about 10 minutes (depending on how well you like your beans cooked) on a simmer (so lower the heat).

Remove the lid and time to finish off the dish. You check for salt at this point (adjust accordingly) and you can also personalize the dish at this point. Depending if you want gravy or not, you can now turn up the heat and burn off all the remaining liquid.  OPTIONAL:  Toss in a few cherry tomatoes, turn off the heat and place the lid back on. The residual heat will soften the tomatoes so it does not go to mush and really give the dish some colour.

This is a dish Tehya simply craves (me too) and it’s a great way to get children eating vegetables. But please try to not overcook the beans as it will take on a soggy texture and loose it’s bright flavor.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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BBQ Chicken Wrapped In Bacon Glazed With Tamarind BBQ Sauce.

BBQ Chicken Wrapped In Bacon Glazed With Tamarind BBQ Sauce.

When it comes to BBQ and grilling in the Caribbean, we usually stick to more traditional things, like ‘jerk” and your everyday grilled chicken and other meats glazed store bought bbq sauce. However it’s not due to a lack of creativity, but more sticking to what you know. The new generation are experimenting with different flavors, techniques and approaching food in general as a painter would a blank canvas.

Here’s an example of our creativity…

 

You’ll Need…

12 chicken drumsticks (skinless)
pinch salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
pinch black pepper
juice 1/2 orange
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 strips bacon
2 birds eye pepper
1 teaspoon Caribbean green seasoning

10 strips of your fav bacon as well as some toothpicks.

* 3/4 cup tamarind bbq sauce.

Please click on the links above if you need help making the Caribbean green seasoning and/or the homemade tamarind BBQ sauce.

Wash and drain the chicken, then season with the all of the ingredients mentioned above, except the BBQ sauce. Cover and allow to marinate for about two hours.

Shake of the pieces of pepper (leave it it you want the kick) and wrap each piece of chicken with a strip of bacon, then use a toothpick to secure it on.

On a relatively hot grill (brush some vegetable oil on the grilling grates) place the bacon wrapped chicken pieces away from direct heat. On my grill there are 3 burners, so I left the one in the middle off, but had the ones on either sides going. The idea is to grill with indirect heat so you don’t char the outside and have it still raw inside.

Grill as you would normally grill.

Tip:  Place you tamarind BBQ sauce (or any fav sauce you decide to use) in a metal cup and let it gently heat on top of your grill, so you’re not basting your chicken pieces with cold sauce.

The last five minutes of cooking is when you’d place the chicken on direct heat (low) and start brushing them with that lovely tamarind BBQ sauce.

Remember to remove the toothpicks before serving or at least warm your guests that they’re there. This will be an avalanche of flavors, from the herb marinade, the freshness of the orange zest and juice, the smokiness of the bacon and  the delightful flavor of that homemade tamarind BBQ sauce will be brilliant. You’ll notice that I didn’t use much salt as the bacon is typically salty.

 Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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An Unconventional Grenadian Oil Down.

An Unconventional Grenadian Oil Down.

Our mom would make a very similar dish for when my dad would have his friends over to play cards and she called her’s steamed breadfruit. Basically stewed pork, topped with breadfruit and simmered in freshly made coconut milk. That was and still is a hit with anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of having a plate. Just writing about this and my mouth is overcome with liquid craving! Without much doubt her way of ‘steaming’ the breadfruit is one of my favorite meals.

This Grenadian oil down recipe I’m about to share was passed on to me about 20 years ago by a good friend from Grenada and though it did not replace my moms recipe for cooking breadfruit, it’s absolutely outstanding. One plate and you’ll know why Grenadians are so passionate about their oil down and why they refer to it as their national dish. You will notice that there will be some minor differences in the traditional way it would be cooked in Grenada, but I like bringing out as much flavor from ingredients I use and when you’re not based in the Caribbean, there are times when traditional ingredients are difficult to source.

 

You’ll Need…

2 lbs salted pig tail
3 lbs chicken (I used breast)
1 teaspoon Caribbean green seasoning
black pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 scallions
4 sprigs thyme
1 medium breadfruit
1 large carrot
2 cups chopped Jamaican Callaloo *
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon Saffron (turmeric)
1 scotch bonnet pepper
3 pimento peppers (seasoning peppers)
2 cups pumpkin
4 green cooking bananas
3 cups coconut milk
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 tablespoon chopped shado beni
6 eddoes

Notes. I used Jamaican callaloo leaves (chorai bhaji), but traditionally dasheen leaves are used and if you don’t have access to either, you can use spinach or your favorite greens. You can personalize this dish by adding your favorite ground provision like yams, dasheen, cassava etc. Typically a large breadfruit would be used as it’s usually the star of this dish, but sourcing (and affording) a large breadfruit in North America is not as easy as if you’re on the islands.

* You can also add smoked herrings, salted fish etc. Flour dumplings are also added the last 15 minutes of cooking for that unique Grenadian way.

First up we’ve got to prep the salted pigtails. Hopefully you can get your butcher to cut the tails into 1.5 inch pieces or make sure you have a clever to cut through the bone. Place in a deep pot covered with water and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a rolling boil for about 40 minutes. This will not only help tenderize the salted pig tails, but it will help remove most of that harsh salt it was cured in. Drain, rinse and set aside.

Cut the chicken into serving size pieces, wash and drain. Then season with the Caribbean green seasoning and black pepper. Allow to marinate for the length of time the pig tails pre-cook. You can also peel, wash and cube (large pieces) the eddoes, cooking banana, carrot, breadfruit, Jamaican callaloo and pumpkin. Make sure to keep the vegetables/ provisions in a bowl covered with water so they don’t discolor.

In a deep pot, heat the veg oil on a medium flame and add the onion, garlic, scallion and pimento peppers and cook for about 2-3 minutes. You’ll start with a wonderful flavor base.

Turn the heat down to low as we stack everything in the pot. Layer in the now pre-cooked salted pig tails, the seasoned chicken and everythign else. Top with the chopped callaloo and finally.. mix in the curry powder and turmeric together with the coconut milk and pour into the pot. Traditionally the last thing to go on top the pot would be the dasheen bush leaves to form a sort of seal for everything to cook under.

Turn the heat up to bring the pot to a boil (lid on).

After it comes up to a boil reduce to a simmer, have the lid slightly ajar and cook for about 35-40 minutes. Try not to stir as we really don’t want things to fall apart and become mush.

The scent coming out of the pot will be intoxicating and your family will pester you.. is it done yet? .. patience young ones! The “oil-down” comes from the fact that the oils from the pig tail and coconut milk will coat and flavor this dish like no other.You’ll notice that I didn’t add any salt, so you’ll have to add accordingly. The remaining salt from the pig tails will be enough to properly season the dish, but your tolerance will be different than mine.

I remember making this dish for some friends when were in St Vincent a few years back, old school… 3 stones, fire wood and the outdoors.. good times! But the washing of that pot after was not fun.

This will be a huge pot of food (about 6-8 people) and it’s always good to make this when you have family and friends coming over.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Apple Mango Chicken Salad.

Apple Mango Chicken Salad.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no fan of chicken breast or “white meat”, so this recipe came about out of the necessity to use that part of the chicken after having roasted chicken for dinner. Now we purposely buy chicken breast, as this apple mango chicken salad is simply outstanding and it’s one of the few dishes I make which EVERYONE eats! Cooking for teenagers can be a bit tricky at times.

With most things I prepare I like to bring a bit of the “island” into it, so the addition of the ripe mango and pinch of curry powder, was only natural.

You’ll Need…

1/2 cup cubed mango
3 cups shredded chicken (cooked.. I used oven roasted)
3/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red onion
3/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1/2 cup diced apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch curry powder

Notes: Try to get a mango that’s about 90% ripe, so it’s firm and will be easy to dice and handle in general, without falling apart. If you don’t have a red onion, any sweet or mild onion will work. The idea is not to have karate breath after eating this.

Wash, peel and dice the mango.. you’ll need about 1/2 of a large mango. No need to peel the apple as the skin will give it some extra texture, but do pour the lemon juice over the diced apple to prevent it from going discoloured. Dice the celery and onion a bit smaller than the apple and mango.

All you have to do now is basically assemble. With the chicken in a deep bowl (shredded), place the other ingredients and give it a good mix.

There’s enough here to make about 5-8 sandwiches (depending on how generous you are) and I would recommend chilling it in the fridge for about 30 minutes before using. It can keep for about 2 days in the fridge, but you may notice that some liquid may form in the container. Just give it a good stir and you’re good to go. If you’re daring be sure to add some pepper sauce or some finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper for that extra kick!

Don’t forget to get some nice crunchy lettuce and the key to a fabulous sandwich is getting the right bread.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Chicken Fried Rice.

Chicken Fried Rice.

If you’re new to my website or Caribbean cuisine you’re probably wondering how does fried rice relate to the Caribbean. Our cuisine is heavily influenced by the many faces who make up our unique culture. With over 150 years of Chinese history in the Caribbean, our Chinese style food may be a bit different to what you’d find else where, but I assure you that we’ve been very busy over those years and (IMO) perfected many Chinese dishes. Ask any Tringbagonian, Guyanese or Jamaican (countries where there’s a heavy Chinese population) about this and they will only confirm what I’m saying

 

You’ll Need…

5 cups cooked rice (see note below)
1 lb chicken (chicken breast)
1 cup diced carrot
2 scallions (chopped finely)
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cloves of garlic crushed or grated
1 teaspoon grated ginger
3 tablespoon vegetable oil (divided)
3 tablespoon dark soy sauce *
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large onion diced
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tablespoon shado beni (optional)
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper

Notes: I used white rice, which was cooked in salted boiling water. For best results place the cooked rice in the fridge to chill before using. This will give you a lovely grainy texture (no clumping) and remember when cooking the rice, stop the cooking process when it’s about 95% done, so it’s not soggy. Start off with 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, but depending on how dark you want the finished chicken fried rice, you may need to adjust. Please dice the scotch bonnet pepper very finely and don’t include any seeds. We simply don’t want the raw heat.

Tip. To get the chicken sliced thin, when it’s still a little frozen use a sharp knife and you’ll be better able to get thin slices since it will be firm.

The first thing we need to do is to season the sliced chicken with the 5 spice powder and black pepper. Mix well and let it marinate for a few minutes. Heat your wok or non stick frying pan (you’ll need a large one) on med/high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the veg oil then add the seasoned chicken. Since we’re working with fairly high heat, remember to stir and it will cook in about 3-4 minutes. Now remove and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of veg oil to the wok, then add the diced onion and grate in the garlic and ginger. Let that cook for a minute, then add the diced carrots, bell peppers and celery. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Now add the diced scotch bonnet pepper and soy sauce.. followed by the pre cooked chicken and sesame oil. It will go very dark… that will change soon.

Now it’s time to add the rice (make sure you chilled it a bit so we get that grainy texture) and stir well. Since the rice is already cooked, all we’re doing is heating it through and infusing it with the main flavors of the fried rice.

Now it’s time to add the remaining 3 ingredients. Add the bean sprouts and toss, then top with the finely chopped scallions and if you were able to source the shado beni (see West Indian, Asian or Latin grocery stores.. may also be called Culantro) and cook for a minute or 2. That’s it.. you’re done.

As you can tell this can be a one pot dish with all those lovely vegetables, chicken and the rice itself. With such a large batch it can easily feed 6-8 people and I assure you, they will all be satisfied.  Remember to taste for salt, but the soy sauce should add enough sodium to make this ideal (but you can adjust if you want more). If you find that the rice is a bit too pale for your liking you can add a tablespoon more soy sauce to darken it up a bit. If you have some frozen peas you can also add a cup of that for extra vegetables. Speaking about vegetables, did you know that my vegetarian fried rice recipe video is one of the most popular on Youtube?

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Jerk Chicken Wraps.

Jerk Chicken Wraps.

With just 3 recipes left in the “party food” theme we have going for November, I thought it was time to do something with bold Caribbean flavors. These jerk chicken wraps are excellent as everyday sandwiches for your family or watch your guests make a dash for the platter when you present these at your holiday gathering. You’ll be astonished at how moist and juicy the jerk chicken will be and with the fresh tropical fruit.. your taste buds will achieve a level of excitement reserved for food your mom makes which you still crave.

You’ll Need…

3 lb chicken breast (boneless)
1 1/2 cups jerk marinade
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 1/2 cups carrots (julienne and blanched)
1 1/2 cups lettuce
1 1/2 cup mango julienne
1 1/2 cup cucumber (ribbons)
1 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
10 inch flour tortillas (about 8-10)

Notes: I used my favorite packaged jerk marinade and suggest you do the same to save time. There’s been many requests since posting the video for this recipe, for the sort of garlic spread I used when putting it together. Directly below this recipe I’ll share that with you and since I don’t have a video for it, I’ll get one posted in the coming weeks.

The first step in making these jerk chicken wraps is to broil the chicken. Wash, drain and pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels, then pour in the marinade and allow to marinate for at least 1 hr. Set your oven on the broil setting and move the rack so it’s about 6-8 inches away from the main heat source. Line a baking pan with tin foil (easy clean up after) and brush on the oil or you can certainly use cooking spray. Now place the chicken on the tray, pour remaining marinade onto them and broil for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven, flip over and broil for another 8 minutes. If you’re using thick chicken, broil an additional 4 minutes. Set aside to cool as you prepare the other ingredients.

As the chicken cools, it’s time to prepare the mango, carrots, cucumber and lettuce. With the carrots, you’ll need to bring about 3 cups of water to boil and toss in the julienne carrots into it for 25 seconds. Then place immediately into a bowl with ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Shred the lettuce (I used iceberg) and make sure the mango is firm and not over-ripe or it will be difficult to julienne .When the chicken is cool, slice into1/4 inch strips and if you have any drippings in the pan you broiled it in, pour it over the sliced chicken and give it a good mix.

It’s all about assembling the jerk chicken wraps now.  Open out one of the flour tortillas, then spread about a teaspoon of the garlic spread across a 1 inch strip across the tortilla.  Now place (across one end) a bit of the chicken, mango, pineapple, lettuce and cucumber ribbons and roll (try to tuck in everything as you roll) tightly. Then slice on a bios in the middle so you have two pieces of jerk chicken wrap. You’ll need toothpicks to hold these together.

If you’re wondering if we need a dipping sauce for this, the answer is no. The flavors of this will be enough to captivate everyone’s appetite on it’s own. You can make these ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

For the garlicky spread you’ll need:

2 (8 ounce) containers plain Greek yogurt
2 cucumbers – peeled, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
3 cloves garlic

Directions: In a food processor or blender, combine yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill and garlic. Process until well-combined. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavor.

* you can add a drop or 2 of honey as well if you want.

 

Winner Wanted!

Yes, it’s that time again. I’ve got a cool Keith Haring tote bag to give away to one lucky reader and I’m hoping it’s you. Over the past few months we’ve been giving away a lot of cookbooks on the site, so we thought we’d do something a little different tonight. This wicked looking tote bag is very stylish and I’m sure you’ll find use for it on your grocery shopping trips. All you have to do is leave me a comment below and your name will be automatically entered to win. Yea.. it’s that simple.

There are two bonus ways you can have your name entered in the contest, giving you 3 chances at winning. Along with leaving a comment below, go to the Facebook fan page and/or the Youtube cooking channel and leave a comment  there. I don’t care what your comment is, but it would be nice if you could tell me what you like about Caribbean cuisine.

Here are the rules pertaining to winning this tote bag

- contest is open to everyone globally (even if you won something here before)

- there are 3 ways to enter your name (see above)

- 1 winner will be chosen at random (if you left 3 comments, your name will be entered 3 times)

- contest is open from November 28– to midnight December 10.

- winner will be announced within 1 week of the official close date.

- the winner will have 1 week to contact us with their mailing address

- we will cover all shipping expenses (standard mail)

I hope you take a moment to enter your name as I’d really like to mail this Keith Haring tote bag out to you. It’s simple, free and fun

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

 

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Caribbean Style Chicken Livers.

Caribbean Style Chicken Livers.

Our mom will verify that no matter where in the world you’re doing your parenting gig, you’ll encounter kids who refuse to eat chicken livers. I still recall the look on my face when we’d come home from school and you’d open the pot to see what mom prepared for dinner and with horror you would see chicken livers staring back at you. However, that changed the first time I actually tasted them and I’ve never looked back. Our mom is a boss in the kitchen so it still baffles me that I didn’t trust her skills… why did I avoid chicken livers all those years?

Seasoned and cooked to perfection, these chicken livers will get your kids and stubborn eaters asking for more… trust meh!

 

You’ll Need….

1lb chicken liver
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 med onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon green seasoning
1 tomato
1 scallion
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1 teaspoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch curry powder

Chop the liver into 1 inch pieces, wash with some lime or lemon juice and water, then drain and set aside for us to prepare the other ingredients. Dice the scallion, onion, tomato, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper. Remember to wear gloves when handing scotch bonnet peppers and wash your hands with soap and water immediately after. If you’re concerned about the raw heat of the scotch bonnet pepper, don’t use any of the seeds or white membrane surrounding the seeds.. that where that raw heat is.

With your trimmed, washed and drained chicken livers in a bowl, it’s time to add the salt, black pepper, green seasoning, ketchup, curry powder and scotch bonnet pepper slices. Give it a good stir and set aside (fridge) to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Time to cook… heat the oil on a medium flame, then add the diced onion and reduce the heat to low, so we can slowly cook the onion. After 3 minutes the onions should be soft, translucent and the edges should start going golden. Add the finely diced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

It’s now time to add the seasoned chicken livers. Turn up the heat to medium and give it a good stir (don’t cover the pan).

Chicken livers cooks very quickly and here’s where you’ll have to decide how “cooked” you like it as it will affect the final texture of it all. I like my liver firm, but not leathery., so you can follow my direction.

Add the diced tomato and continue to stir to make sure each piece of liver gets in contact with the bottom of the pan/pot.

You’ll notice that two major things will happen. The liver will start to go a dull color and it will spring it’s own juices (why we need to leave the lid open, so we can burn that off). Cook for about 3-5 minutes, then add the chopped scallion and then turn up the heat to burn off any liquid.

It should take 4 minutes to now burn off the liquid. I like leaving a little gravy, but our mom was strict.. she wanted to see oil (fuss it was dry).

Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.. turn off the heat and serve. I love these chicken livers in a sandwich, so that’s exactly what I did after these were hot off the stove. But these are an excellent side dish as part of your family dinner.

I guarantee you (strong words), that this will be the absolute best way you’ve ever had chicken livers and I’m even bold enough to say that your picky eaters will also find this very appetizing (providing you can convince them to give it a test drive). Here’s the video of me preparing this wonderful chicken liver dish:

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Chinese Style Fried Chicken.

Chinese Style Fried Chicken.

I still recall the first time I had this fried chicken at my aunt’s kitchen in Trinidad, topped with the juice of lime pepper sauce which had been marinating for a couple months. The succulent pieces of chicken was just outstanding with the drops of spicy sauce, but the crispy skin stole the show. It’s just one of those things (moments) which will forever be engraved in my memory. The recipe itself is very simple and even with minimal ingredients, the flavor really stands out.

You’ll Need…

1.5 cups light soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 chicken (about 4 bs)
Vegetable oil for frying

Notes: You can add a 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder to the marinade for extra flavor and a little finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper will add the “wickedness” to everything. You’ll also need the juice of a lime or lemon to wash the chicken.

Here’s a tip to know how much vegetable oil you’ll need for frying so you won’t have a dangerous mess with overflowing hot oil when you add the seasoned chicken to the pot. It will also help you determine how large a pot you’ll need. Place your chicken (before seasoning) into the pot you plan on using to fry, then using a measuring cup, pour in water until the chicken is covered. Be sure to write down how many cups of water it took to completely cover the chicken (this will be how much oil you will need). After covering the chicken with water, make sure there is about 3 inches of space before the rim of the pot. Since as you add the chicken to the hot oil it may rise and try to flow over.

Now remove the chicken and get ready to marinade.

Wash the chicken with cool water and lime or lemon juice, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Then place in a large zip lock bag and place the bagged chicken in a bowl which can fit in your fridge. So in the event of a leaky bag, you won’t have a mess in your fridge. All you have to do now is pour in the soy sauce and grate the ginger directly into the bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can as you seal the bag.. then massage the entire chicken so the marinade gets up-close and personal with the entire bird.

Allow the now seasoned chicken to marinate in the fridge overnight. The next day, remove from the fridge and allow to come back to room temperature as you heat the oil for frying (get it to about 325F). Using paper towels, dry off the chicken so we won’t have any liquid causing problems when we introduce it to the hot oil.

With my oil nice and hot (med/high flame) I gently added the chicken to it.

Depending on the size of your chicken, it can take between 40 and 50 minutes to cook all the way though and get you that lovely crispy skin. If you’re using chicken pieces, it should be fully cooked after about 25 minutes. I then placed the fried chicken to cool on a cooling rack in a baking tray. So the excess oil will drain into the tray.

Since we’re using soy sauce to marinate the chicken, you may find that the chicken may turn out to be a bit salty (why we went for light soy sauce). You can certainly rinse the chicken with cool water after marinating overnight to help with that, but the sort of salty base is what’s unique about this fried chicken.. get some Hoisin sauce and the sweetness will work as a good balance for the chicken. Don’t forget to have some good Caribbean pepper sauce ready as well.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Caribbean Smoked Turkey Soup.

Caribbean Smoked Turkey Soup.

Smoked and/or salted meats are a must for a good Caribbean soup, so when my eyes crossed paths with the smoked turkey legs when we were out shopping a few days back.. let’s just say we shared a connection. Soups in the Caribbean are thick and hearty as most stews are in North America, so if this is your first time learning about how we make soups, don’t get alarmed. If you can’t source smoked turkey legs, you can certainly use necks or wings and if all fails, use any smoked meat you can source (ham bone, ham hocks..etc).

You’ll Need…

1 smoked turkey leg
2 potato
1 sweet potato
1lb dasheen
4 eddoes
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pack Grace cock soup
water (10-14 cups)
1 carrot
1 sweet corn
fresh thyme (4 sprigs)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 cup black eye peas
1 tablespoon veg oil
4 okra
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 scallions

Optional – (flour dumplings)
1 1/2 cup   all purpose flour
pinch of sugar
water

Notes. Optional ingredients – yam, green banana, cassava.. etc. If you don’t have the Grace cock soup.. use a spicy noodle soup (Maggi) or chicken stock. You can add any greens you like (spinach, callaloo etc) or  cabbage as well . And a nice addition would be some cubed pumpkin.

Chop the onion, garlic, scallions and herbs. Then heat the oil in a deep soup pot and add the chopped ingredients. Allow that to cook for 3-5 minutes on low heat. To soften the onion and create a wonderful flavor base.

Wash and drain the black eye peas (a good substitute would be yellow split peas) and add it to the pot along with the chopped carrot. Then add the smoked turkey leg and  pour in the water, add the scotch bonnet pepper, salt and black pepper. Bring to a oil and reduce to a simmer.

Allow to to simmer away for 45- 60 minutes or until the peas are tender. In the meantime peel and prep the root vegetables. Using a potato peel or sharp pairing knife, remove the skin off the dasheen, eddoes, potato, sweet potato and remove the stems off the okra. Try to cut each in even sized pieces so they cook evenly. If you prepped this before it time to place it in the pot, remember to cover will cool water to prevent them from going discoloured. The corn is optional, but I like adding it. Cut each corn into 4-5 pieces and give a good rinse before adding to the pot.

After 50 minutes or so the peas should be tender and you should have a pot packed with flavour. Remove the smoked turkey leg and set aside to cool. Now gently add everything into the pot  and bring to a boil, including the packet of ‘cock’ soup. If you find that the liquid does not cover the vegetables, add a bit more water.

Strip the pieces of meat off the bone and add back to the pot.. add back the bone as well for additional flavor.

Usually it takes between 25 – 35 minutes to cook after you’ve added the vegetables. You’re looking for a thick consistency and the dasheen and other vegetables should be tender to the point where it starts to fall apart. Try not to over stir or you’ll end up with porridge.

Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. If you’re adding flour dumplings, do so the last 7 minutes so they have time to fully cook. Remember that as this soup cools it will thicken further, so don’t worry if it seems a bit thin when it’s hot.

An absolute treat! This soup is loaded with goodness and don’t be surprised if you get a case of the sleepies after you’ve done damage on a bowl. Remember to fish the scotch bonnet pepper out of the pot and try your best not to burst it during cooking.. or you’ll release the dragon!

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Island Style Chicken Strips.

Island Style Chicken Strips.

After posting  the video recipe for these island style chicken strips on the Youtube channel, it quickly became one of the most requested recipes. Following on the technique we’d use for making fried chicken when I was a kid on the islands (still remember pounding the Crix crackers to make the crumbs), these could easily be the best chicken strips you’ll ever have. While making the Mango Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce I felt I needed to have something to go along with it and I really didn’t feel like grilling, so I went freezer diving and came up with a couple chicken breast. The rest is delicious history.

 

You’ll Need…

2 chicken breast (split) about 1 lb
2 eggs
2 scallions
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
salted crackers (about 1.5 cups crumbs)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2-3 cups oil for frying (veg oil)
3/4 cup all purpose flour

Notes. I used a bone in chicken breast which I got the strips from, but you’re free to use boneless chicken breast if you’d like to save on time. Remember to wash the strips with the juice of a lime or lemon and cool water, then drain dry.

Place the crackers in a zip lock bag or in a tea towel and using a rolling pi or wine bottle, crush until you have the consistency of bread crumbs. I like a bit of texture, so I try to leave some of it a bit chunky. Set aside in a bowl.

Chop (finely) the scallions, thyme and parsley. Then add it to the bowl with the cracker crumbs and give it a good stir. I know this step is a bit strange to my Caribbean readers as we’re seasoning the bread crumbs and not the chicken as we would traditionally do.

Cut the chicken into 1/4 inch strips (don’t fuss with being even), wash, drain and set aside. Crack both eggs into another bowl and toss in the black pepper and salt and give it a whisk. We now have the chicken cut into pieces, the seasoned crumbs and eggs. It’s time to set up a batter and frying station. We’ll need the veg oil in a deep pan (I used a small wok so the oil doesn’t splatter onto the stove while frying) on med/high heat, a plate with the flour, the seasoned crumbs, the chicken strips, egg wash and have a paper towel lined plate or basket to drian off the excess oil when the chicken strips are done cooking.

Take a piece of chicken and dust it in the flour, then into the eggs (make sure it’s covered in the eggs mix) and drain off the excess egg and roll in the seasoned bread crumbs. Do about 4-5 of these so once you start adding to the hot oil, you’ll have a few to go in at the same time.

Your oil should be hot by now, so gently place each strip in. Flip after a couple minutes and keep an eye on them. If you find that they’re browning too fast, turn your heat down a bit. It takes about 5-7 minutes to fully cook and have that lovely golden brown colour. Drain on the paper towels and continue until all the chicken strips are cooked. Sprinkle (while hot) with a little sea salt (not mentioned in the ingredient list).

These chicken strips will look stunning when they come out of the fryer, with the golden colour and specs of green herbs. And not to be out done… they will be absolutely delicious. With a wonderful crunch from the seasoned cracker crumbs (airy as if yo used panko crumbs), tender and very moist (fully cooked) on the inside. You’ll be a super hero to your kids after you serve up a batch of these.But be warned that they won’t want you to go back to the stuff you used to get them at Mc Donalds.

TIP: Thread each chicken strip onto a bamboo skewer before battering (cook as mentioned above) and you’ll have an attractive dish to take to your next company lunch… finger food heaven! Place on a platter lined with some leaf lettuce (gotta have a green back ground) and serve with a little of that mango honey mustard bbq sauce I showed you how to make a couple recipes ago. You’ll look like a culinary star!

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

 

 

 

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5 Spice Chicken On The Grill.

5 Spice Chicken On The Grill.

Have guys enjoyed the month of grilling? This 5 spice chicken may end up being  the last in the series (for now), so I can get back to more traditional Caribbean dishes. It’s been such fun taking the cooking outdoor, I’m now thinking up other ways to add some excitement to the recipes and cooking videos. Who knows, I may take the show on the road and you may see me on your island very soon. This five spice chicken on the grill is inspired by the huge Chinese influence in the Caribbean, especially in our everyday cuisine. 

Did you know?…

Between 1853 and 1879, 14,000 Chinese laborers were imported to the British Caribbean as part of a larger system of contract labor bound for the sugar plantations. Imported as a contract labor force from China, Chinese settled in three main locations: Jamaica, Trinidad, and British Guiana (now Guyana), initially working on the sugar plantations. Most of the Chinese laborers initially went to British Guiana; however when importation ended in 1879, and the population declined steadily, mostly due to emigration to Trinidad and Suriname. But even before that, Chinese immigration to Cuba started in 1847 when Cantonese contract workers were brought to work in the sugar fields.

 

You’ll Need…

4 lbs chicken (I used thighs)
1/2 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (no seeds)
1 tablespoon vinegar *
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon 5-spice powder
2 scallions chopped

Notes: I used cider vinegar as that’s what I had on hand, you can use your fav type of vinegar. I used fresh scotch bonnet pepper as I love the vibe from the freshness, but you can certainly use 1 teaspoon pepper sauce (hot sauce). If you’re wondering… 5 spice powder is completely different from ‘allspice” powder.

Wash and trim of excess skin and fat off the chicken pieces, then wash and drain dry. I used chicken thighs as I love this meaty piece of dark meat, it absorbs marinades well and the I kept some of the skin to to help keep it moist as it grills. Then chop the scotch bonnet pepper and scallion very fine and crush your garlic as smooth as you can. I used my mortar and pestle for the garlic and with the help of a pinch of salt.. I had a smooth garlic paste. Remember when working with scotch bonnet peppers to wear gloves, wash your hands with soap and don’t use the seeds if you’re concerned about raw heat. The seeds and white area surrounding the seeds is most deadly when it comes to hot peppers.

Basically all you have to do now is pour everything, including the chicken pieces into a zip lock bag (get a strong freezer bag, so you don’t have breakage or leakage). Seal and massage by moving around with your hands. Be sure to get everything mixed properly. Now try to get as much air as you can out of the bag and quickly seal it. By removing all the air, you’ll help to infuse the chicken pieces with that lovely marinade. Place the bag in the fridge for at least 3 hours.. but 5 hours would be best if you had the time.

Before you go out to fire up your grill take the bag with the marinating chicken out of the fridge so it comes back to room temperature. If you don’t have a grill/bbq, you can do this recipe in the oven. Preheat at 375F, place the chicken on a wire rack on a baking tray (so it’s not sitting in it’s own fat as it cooks)  and cook for about 40-45 minutes. You may need to turn on your broiler for the last 5 minutes for it to develop that lovely golden colour.

My grill was between 375 and 400F and I placed them with the skin side up to start. Basically all you’re doing now is grilling as you would normally grill your chicken. So flip every 4-5 minutes (be sure to look of for flare-ups when it’s skin side down) and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until you achieve the way you like. There are 3 burners on my grill, so what I did was… I turned 2 of the burners down to low and the one to the far right I had on high (similar to indirect grilling). This allowed me to keep my grill at the same temperature, while slowly cooking the 5 spice chicken slowly over the low burners.

Do allow the chicken pieces to rest for 3-5 minutes before serving so the meat relaxes back and you get that true juiciness from the 5 spice marinade. This 5 spice chicken is surely a lovely representation of the Chinese influence on our culinary culture and it’s always a hit in our home when it’s served.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

 

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Curry Chicken Lollipops On The Grill.

Curry Chicken Lollipops On The Grill.

As our adventure on the grill continues, I thought I’d share a very creative way to do chicken lollipops. If you’re not familiar with chicken lollipops, it’s basically the way the drumette of the wing is shaped to give the appearance of our favorite kid candy, lollipops. With that in mind I decided to make a rub to marinate the chicken lollipops in, using ingredients we would normally use on a daily basis on the islands. The slight heat and smokiness from the paprika, combined with fresh herbs and the earthy goodness of good Caribbean curry powder will certainly make this a go-to dish as you spark up your grill and invite friends over.

 You’ll Need…

1 tablespoon curry powder (madras)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon rum
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder

Note: Traditionally the drum part of the chicken wings are used to make the lollipop shape, but I used actual chicken drumsticks. More meat and much cheaper than purchasing chicken wings. I used a madras blend curry powder originating from the Caribbean.. just my preference.

The very first thing we need to do is to shape the lollipops (see the video below). Grab the thin end of the drumstick  firmly, then carefully cut through the meat surrounding the bone, using a sawing motion and turning the thing around. Don’t try to force it, let the knife do the work. Once the skin is cut all around, use your knife to scrape down the meat from the bone. You may need to cut through a couple of sinews. Push the meat down to the other end. You should now have what looks like a handle with a ball of chicken meat at one end. * Be sure to look out for the tiny long bone which will be close to the main bone of the drumstick. It can prick you.. try to cut that out. In the pic below you’ll see 4 stages of me doing the lollipop thing. BTW, I removed the skin first.

With all my drumsticks now shaped into chicken lollipops, I washed it with lime juice (you can use lemon juice or vinegar as well) and rinse with cool water. Drain and set aside for marinating.

It’s now time to make the marinade… combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and give it a good whisk.

Pour the marinade over the trimmed and shaped chicken pieces and give it a good mix (get your hands in there). Now cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour (try not to go beyond 3 hrs). Then bring back to room temperature while your grill heats up.

The next step is pretty straight forward, as you’ll just grill as you normally grill chicken. My grill was about 375 degrees and I pretty much cooked them for about 25-30 minutes. Rotating them every 4-5 minutes and basting with the leftover marinade in the bowl I marinated them in.

As they cook and the heat of the grill intensifies, you’ll start getting that lovely aroma of the marinade… especially the curry powder! Do keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook and dry out. But be sure to get some grill marks on them to really intensify the rich flavors we infused them with.

There’s no need for any BBQ sauce on these or you’ll destroy all the work you did to create that lovely exotic flavor from the curry powder, spices and herbs. However, the tamarind bbq sauce I shared with you a couple weeks back would make for an excellent dipping sauce for these chicken lollipops. Here’s a video on how simple it is to make that lovely tamarind bbq sauce…

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

Here’s the complete video from preparation to the completed curry chicken lollipops for you to follow along…

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