After posting the geera pork recipe a while back, there were several emails from people who don’t eat pork wanting a different option. Though I’m a bit late with this geera chicken recipe, this one is for all the pork haters. Geera (aka cumin) is used to give this sort of bar food (similar to how you’d find tapas in Spain) a strong ‘spice’ base and the garlic, herbs and habanero (scotch bonnet peppers are normally used) pepper gives it that unique Caribbean kick. As I’ve mentioned in the past, geera is one of those few spices I just don’t appreciate, so this dish is not made often in our kitchen. Probably also explains why my love for Mexican food is very limited.
2 lb boneless chicken breast cubed
1 heaping tablespoon ground roasted geera powder (cumin)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 habanero pepper (scotch bonnet or any hot pepper you like)
2 heaping tablespoon of chopped cilantro (stems and everything)
4 sprigs thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 lime or lemon for washing the chicken
Notes. Traditionally Shado Beni is used instead of the cilantro, but it’s a good substitute when you can source shado beni. Chicken breast or white meat is notorious for being dry, but I assure you that it’s will be moist and very flavorful when done. However, if you wanted to use boneless dark meat (legs/thighs), that work great as well. Finally, if you wanted to use the whole geera seeds (cumin) and roast it in a dry pan on high heat, then grind… you’ll really heighten the overall flavor of this dish. But be prepared for your entire house to be encased in that strong roasted geera smell (too much for me personally).
Start by cutting the chicken into 1 inch cubes, then pour the lime or lemon juice over it. Give it a good stir, then rinse off with cool water and drain. It’s now time to season the chicken so we can allow it to marinate for abut 1/2 hour. In a large bowl, place the cubed chicken, salt, black pepper, diced scallions, chopped cilantro, chopped habanero or whatever hot pepper you have and the thyme. Give it a good stir and allow to marinate.
In a fairly deep saucepan, heat the vegetable oil on a med/high flame, then add the sliced onion and garlic. Turn down the heat so you can cook this without it burning. Stir and cook until the onion is soft.. about 4 minutes. Now add the ground roasted geera to the pot and stir. it will go grainy and darker. That is normal. Make sure the heat is down to low and cook for 3-4 minutes. What we’re doing is allowing the roasted geera to toast and release it’s full bouquet.
Start adding the seasoned chicken to the pot and stir as you add. The idea is to coat all the pieces with some of that lovely sort of paste we created and to pick up all the bits from the bottom of the pan (similar to deglazing). Have the heat at med/high and now cover the pot. It will come to a sort of boil and star releasing some natural juices. This is when you’ll turn down the heat and allow it to cook for about 10 minutes. Check occasionally and stir as well. If for some reason there’s no liquid, add a bit of water to allow the chicken to fully cook.
After 10-12 minutes, the chicken should be almost fully cooked. Since we’re using chicken breast, we really don’t want to overcook this or risk it going dry. There should still be a bit of liquid in the pan, so it’s time to remove the lid and turn up the heat a bit. The idea is to burn off all that liquid and in doing so give the pieces of chicken a lovely coating of all the spice and seasoning we used. It should take about 3-4 minutes to completely burn off… you’re done!
If you’re having this as a snack while enjoying some beverages with friends, it’s enough for about 4 people and could easily stretch for 5-6 people as a side dish with dinner. The first time I had this, was with split peas dhal and boiled brown rice and it was quite tasty. You can certainly adjust the amount of geera and hot pepper you use to your own liking. I guess the same can be said for the salt as I know we all have a different tolerance for salt. Here’s a helpful video showing the entire cooking process for this geera chicken recipe.
It’s that time again! New for 2012 one lucky reader will win a spanking new copy of “Aroma – The Magic Of Essential Oils In Food And Fragrance“. A $45 value, will be shipped to the lucky winner the first week of February(we even pay the shipping cost). All you have to do is tell me what’s your favorite herb and why, in the comment section 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 your favorite herb/s.
Here are the rules pertaining to winning the copy of “Aroma – The Magic Of Essential Oils In Food And Fragrance“”…
– 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 January 5 – to midnight January 31.
– winners will be announced within 1 week of the official close date.
– the winners will have 1 week to contact us with 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 book out to you. It’s simple, free and would make for a great addition to your cooking library.