In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Caribbean Stewed Chicken With Lentils.

While Stewed Chicken With Red Beans is a hit in my home and with fans of the website, this version of making Caribbean style stew chicken with the addition of canned (tin) lentils, is yet another comforting dish I enjoy making and serving. Side note, you can also make this dish using the Jamaican Brown Stew technique as well.

3-4 lbs chicken
3/4 tablespoon salt
1 medium onion (diced)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 scotch bonnet pepper (see note)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3 cups water
2 Pimento Peppers (aka seasoning peppers)
1 carrot (diced)
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 tablespoon coconut cream
1 can lentils – rinsed (540 ml / 19oz)
1 medium tomato (diced)
2 scallions (chopped)

Notes! May I recommend that you follow along with the video below as much more about the recipe is discussed there. Especially the “browning” step. I used an entire scotch bonnet pepper- you may do the same, leave it out or use in the amount you can tolerate. Remember to wear gloves and to wash your hands immediately after handling such hot peppers.

I used an entire chicken which I cut into serving sized pieces. Here’s a quick video showing how this is traditionally done in the Caribbean.

Season the cut, trimmed (remove fat and most of the skin) and washed with the juice of a lemon and cool water chicken (if you wash your meats) with the salt, black pepper, tomato ketchup, onion, Caribbean Green Seasoning, salt, Scotch Bonnet pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well to combine and allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oil (any oil you prefer using) on a med/high flame in a heavy/deep pot. Add the brown sugar and stir. The sugar will melt, go frothy and then a deep amber in color. Do NOT allow it to go Black. Once you have that deep amber color, add the seasoned chicken to the pot and stir well to coat. In the video I explained this step in more detail. Should the sugar go black, STOP! Allow the pot to cool completely, wash it and start over, or you’ll have a bitter tasting dish at the end.

Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Don’t worry the chicken will sprout its own natural juices. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes. Then you’ll turn the heat up to burn off all of the liquid in the pot. In doing so you’ll get a deeper color and flavor.

With all of the liquid gone, it’s time to add ginger, carrot, pimento pepper and coconut cream along with the water to braise everything. Stir.

Now add the rinsed lentils and diced tomato to the pot and cook on a rolling boil for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Should you like the flavor of lemongrass and/or bay leaves, you may add some for additional flavor. Here’s where you’ll decide if the gravy is to your liking and taste and adjust the salt to your liking. Keep in mind that the residual heat in the pot will further thicken things as it cools.

As you turn off the stove add the chopped scallions (or parsley), stir and make sure you have some hot steaming rice for an awesome meal. A slice of avocado, along with a quick salad of tomato, cucumber and watercress is how I complete this meal.

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