In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Curry Stew(ed) Chicken With Potato.

One of the most comforting meals I always make when I miss ‘home’ (the Caribbean) is Curry Stew Chicken Wings with a simple side of brown rice. Should I have slices of avocado (say zabouca), cucumber and fresh watercress, it’s even more warm and homely. Today we’ll go through the steps of making this dish with chicken legs instead of chicken wings and with the addition of chunky potato pieces to help it stretch for even more people. With this curry stew chicken with potato, I much prefer hot Sada Roti, to rice as my side.

3/12 lb chicken (dark meat, skin & fat removed)
3/4 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium onion (diced)
1 medium tomato (diced)
1 1/2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 small Scotch Bonnet pepper (sliced)
1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
3 cups water
5 medium potatoes (cut into large pieces)
2 tablespoon chopped parsley (see note)

Notes! May I recommend that you use the video below to follow along as much more about the recipe is discussed there. Especially the ‘stewing’ part, which can be a bit tricky. If you’re making this recipe gluten free please go through the full list of ingredients to ensure they meet your specific gluten free dietary requirements. I opted for an entire Scotch Bonnet pepper in the recipe as I enjoy spicy food, but you can leave it out or use as much as you can tolerate.

I used chicken legs with the back attached (essentially drums and thighs) which were cut into serving sized pieces. The skin and most of the fat was removed. Then I went on to wash it with cool water and the juice of a lime. Since this washing of chicken is controversial, I didn’t include the lime (you can also use the juice of a lemon or 3/4 cup white vinegar) in the ingredient list.

Season the prepped chicken with the salt, black pepper, tomato, onion, Caribbean Green Seasoning, curry powder, Scotch Bonnet pepper and allow it to marinate for at least 2 hours. I discuss why in the video below.

While the seasoning with the curry powder (and marinating) is the “Curry” step of the recipe. The next step which is to caramelize the sugar and add the seasoned chicken, is what we refer to as the ‘stew’ element of the dish. Heat the olive oil in a wide, deep and heavy pot on a medium high flame and add the brown sugar. Please use the video below to follow along. IMPORTANT! Should the sugar go BLACK, STOP! Turn off the stove, move the pot to a cool burner and allow it to cool completely, then wash it and start over. If not, you’ll end up with bitter tasting chicken. The sugar will melt, go frothy, then a deep amber color. While this is happening may I recommend you use a dry spoon (metal or wood as plastic may melt with the high heat) to stir, and keep in mind that your kitchen will go smoky. Once you have that deep amber color, carefully start adding the seasoned chicken to the pot and stir well to coat.

Yes, you may add the marinade as well. Turn the heat down to medium, place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Yes, it will spring its own natural juices. Once it comes to the boil, reduce to a simmer, place the lid on slightly ajar and cook for about 6 minutes. In the same bowl you marinated the chicken in, add the 3 cups of water and swish around to pick up any remaining marinade.

After 6 minutes, remove the lid (I did stir it a few times), turn the heat back up to medium high to burn off any liquid that may be left in the pot. This step will intensify the flavor and color of the dish. At this point you’ll add the potato pieces, along with the grated ginger. Should you want to add a Bay Leaf or 2, it will add additional flavor to the finished dish. TIP! do 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk for a richer gravy at the end.

Add the liquid and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a rolling boil and cook until the chicken is fully cooked and the potato pieces are tender. This can take between 20 and 25 minutes.

Once it’s going on that rolling boil, place the lid back on slightly ajar.

Keep an eye on the level of your liquid and don’t be afraid to add a bit more water should the need arise. Once the potato starts falling apart and the chicken is fully cooked, it’s time to personalize things.

Taste and adjust the salt to your liking, and determine if the gravy is the thickness you enjoy. Keep in mind that the residual heat in the pot will further cook/thicken things and as it cools it will also thicken.

Traditionally you’d finish with chopped Chadon Beni (culantro), however all I had on hand was parsley, which also works excellent! Another option would be Cilantro (coriander) if you wanted.

If you find that your gravy is a bit too thin you can cook a bit longer or use the back of your spoon and crush a few pieces of the potato.

I truly hope you get an opportunity to give this recipe a try as it’s one that’s very dear to me.

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