Two of my favorite dishes combined! Stewed chicken with Spinach, a dish I make with dasheen bush (taro leaves) when I can source it, or more regularly with baby spinach which is readily available at grocery stores here in Ontario, Canada. Basically any of your fav ‘greens’ will work with this dish and if you’re a fan of Green or French beans, you can easily use them instead with delicious success.
3-4 lbs chicken thighs (skinless)
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon parsley
4 sprigs thyme
2 thick slices ginger
1 medium tomato (diced)
3/4 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 medium onion
2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3/4 lb spinach
2-3 tablespoon cream of coconut
6 wiri wiri peppers
2 pimento peppers (seasoning peppers)
6 grape or cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
Season the cleaned chicken with salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, tomato, seasoning peppers (pimento) and a quick green seasoning – basically the parsley, thyme, ginger, scallions, garlic and a tablespoon olive oil and onion – pureed in a food processor or blender. Stir well and marinate for a couple hours.
In a heavy pot on a high flame, add the remaining olive oil, followed by the brown sugar. This step is critical, so you can follow along with the assistance of the video below. Move the sugar around. It will melt, go frothy and then deep amber in color. Being cautious, start adding the seasoned chicken to the pot and stir. NO the dish will NOT be sweet.
IMPORTANT! if the sugar goes black. Shut everything down. allow to Cool, wash the pot and start over. Black sugar will give you an unpleasant burnt flavor.
Stir well to coat the pieces of chicken. As it comes to a boil, add the wiri wiri peppers (optional – add any pepper you have access to). Turn the heat to medium low, with the lid on – slightly ajar.
After 6 minutes, remove the lid and burn off all that liquid (turn up the heat). In the meantime add the water to the bowl where we marinated the chicken, to pick up any remaining marinade.
5-8 minutes later (lid off), you’ll start seeing the oil we started off with at the bottom of the pot. Add the water and coconut cream (milk) to the pot and bring back to a boil. (wash and drain the spinach in the meantime).
As it comes to a boil, turn the heat to medium, add the spainch and stir well.
7 minutes after adding the spinach, the chicken will be fully cooked. Time to personalize things to your own liking. Taste for salt and adjust and get the gravy to the consistency you like. Then turn off the heat and toss in the grape tomatoes.
Hot steam rice topped with this amazing stewed chicken with spinach is my idea of comfort! Or a side to hot Sada Roti and a thick slice of avocado (zabouca). Maybe some Mango Kuchela? BTW when I mentioned above “2 dishes I like”, usually we cook the stewed chicken as a stand alone dish, as well as the spinach or bhagi.
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