Yet another classic recipe from my childhood days growing up on the islands. Curry-Stewed Chicken with Pigeon peas (which were freshly picked / shelled) and potato, which was usually made when mom didn’t have a lot of chicken and needed to feed everyone.
3 lbs Chicken thighs (skin and fat removed)
1 1/2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
1 medium onion (diced)
1 medium tomato (diced)
4 Wiri Wiri peppers
6 cloves garlic + 1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 medium potato (1/4s)
1 can Pigeon peas (about 1 1/2 cups – rinsed)
4 cups water
2 tablespoon chopped parsely
Note! Feel free to use any spicy pepper and in the amounts you can handle, especially if you cannot source the wiri wiri peppers. The spicy pepper is optional. Please watch the video below to follow along, especially when it comes to ‘browning’ the chicken which can be a bit tricky.
Season the chicken with the salt, black pepper, Caribbean Green Seasoning, tomato, onion and curry powder. Mix well and if you have time, allow it to marinate for a couple hours or over-night.
Heat a heavy deep pot on a high heat, add the oil followed by the brown sugar (watch the video below) and stir. The sugar will melt, go frothy and then a deep caramel color. At this point, add the seasoned chicken to the pot and stir well to coat. If the melted sugar goes black, STOP! Allow the pot to cool completely, wash, dry and start over, or you’ll end up with BITTER tasting chicken.
Turn the heat down to medium and cover the pot. It will come up to a boil and in doing so natural juices from the chicken will sprout. Cook for 4-5 minutes with the lid on.
You may peel your potatoes at this point and give the can of pigeon peas a rinse with cool water.
In the same bowl where you seasoned/marinated the chicken, swish around the 4 cups or water to pick up any remaining marinade in the bowl – set aside.
Remove the lid off the pot, turn up the heat and burn off the liquid. This will intensify the color and flavor of the curry-stew. Once the liquid is gone, add the potato, garlic, pigeon peas, wiri wiri peppers, grated ginger and water. Stir will.. scrape the bottom of the pot as well. Bring to a boil.
Depending on the size of the chicken thigh you use and how large the potato pieces are, it will take between 15 and 20 minutes to be cooked thoroughly. I cooked it with the lid on but slightly ajar and on a medium/low flame. Here is where you will decided on a few things. Taste and adjust the salt to your liking and continue cooking to thicken the gravy so it’s not too runny (unless you strangely enjoy thin gravy). In this case, I cooked it for a further 5 minutes with the lid off. I also used the back of the cooking spoon to crush some pieces of the potato to help thicken the gravy.
Do keep in mind that after you turn off the stove it will further thicken as it cools (residual heat from the pot). Toss in the chopped parsley and you’re done. A classic Caribbean dish (Trinidad and Tobago), usually served with roti or rice. You’ll notice that I posted this recipe under “Gluten Free”, but it’s important that you go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific Gluten Free dietary needs. (Read the label of the curry powder you use, some contain fillers).