Kieana our eldest daughter is hooked on anything stewed, while Indy our youngest will not touch the stuff. She’s more into curry chicken, but Kieana will only tolerate curry… no real love there. To try and please or ensure they both eat, I’ve gone back to making a dish that my mom used to make for us when we were kids that was a hit. Curry-stew chicken, a combination of both curry and stewing as the name suggests.
The concept is the same as Stew Chicken, except, we’ll be seasoning the chicken with curry to add that extra level of flavor. For this recipe I suggest you again use a heavy pot for best results (see pot below). Something like a traditional Caribbean pot or one of those cast iron Dutch oven type would be great. You may also use one of those heavy stainless steel ones you can find in department stores in North America with the reinforced (heavy) bottoms.
1 (4-5 pounds) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced or crushed
1 teaspoon fresh/bottled ginger – crushed. (use 1/2 if it’s ginger powder)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (one that can withstand high heat)
1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium tomato – chopped
2-3 tablespoon cilantro (or 2 tbs Trinidad green meat seasoning)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 hot pepper (only if you like your food spicy)
1 green onion or chive – chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
1 lime or lemon or 3 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoon curry powder (your favorite)
Preparing the chicken. Cut or ask your butcher to cut the chicken into serving size pieces. In a bowl empty the cut chicken and squeeze the lime or lemon (or vinegar) onto the chicken, then add some water from your tap to cover the pieces of chicken. Now wash each piece individually, removing skin and any fat (we’ll try to keep this a bit healthy). Now rinse with a new batch of water and drain.
Then in the same bowl with the freshly washed chicken you’ll add ALL the ingredients EXCEPT the oil, sugar and cup of water, we’ll be using those to cook the chicken. Here’s what it should look like (remember to mix everything around and let it sit (marinate) in the fridge for about 1hr before cooking.
FYI, you’ve just seasoned the chicken. After about an hour or so marinating, it time to get things moving.
Here’s a pic of the pot I used:
On high heat, add the oil to the pan. Just before the oil starts to smoke, add the brown sugar. TIP – be sure to have the seasoned chicken handy, use a long handle spoon (it will get hot) and oven mitts to hold onto the pot to turn the pieces of chicken to get it evenly coated. It’s important that you keep an eye on things and be ready to act fast. Next tip – it can get a bit smoky with the high heat at this point, so you may want to turn the exhaust fan over your stove on or open a window in the event you have smoke detectors installed.
Move around the sugar in the pot (remember to use a dry spoon with a long handle), until it starts to melt. Now keep a close eye on things here, since you’re looking for the sugar to go a bit foamy, and change color to golden. See pic below. Notice the middle of the picture where the sugar appears a bit darker? That’s the exact color you’re looking for before adding the chicken. (Note – we used less sugar in this recipe than when cooking stew chicken, since we don’t want to over-power the curry aspect of the dish)
At this point you can start adding the pieces of chicken into the pot with the caramelized sugar. Try to be quick, since you don’t want the sugar to go much darker than in the picture above. Be sure to coat every piece of chicken so it “browns” evenly. Now cover the pot and let simmer for about 5 -10 minutes. you’ll notice that the pot will now have some excess water in it.
We’d like to now allow all the juices that developed during cooking (while pot was covered) to cook-down until there is no liquid in the pot, so we need to turn the heat back up to high. The chicken will now start to get even darker. As soon as you can no longer see any liquid in the pot, it’s will be time to add the water.
Now add the cup of water to the bowl that contained the seasoned chicken. Swish it around so you get all the seasoning bits that were left back. Add this water to the pot so you can continue cooking the chicken for another 25 minutes or so. Turn the heat back down to a gentle simmer and let cook until the water thickens up to a nice gravy like consistency (pot closed). To thicken the gravy, remove the lid and turn up the heat if necessary.
Salt – be sure to taste near the end to add extra salt as to your liking.
Sauce – Since we pair this with rice or with roti, we leave a bit of sauce or gravy with it. BTW, this also goes well as a topping for macaroni and cheese.. give it a try!
Questions? Leave me a comment below and I’ll try my best to help you as best as I can.
Maybe you have a different version of this recipe? Feel free to submit your recipes.