Caribbean-Style Curried Chicken
The Diverse Cuisine of the World
As a child, I was fortunate to be exposed to many beautiful people from a diverse range of cultures. It opened my mind to a lot of views and experiences that I feel have made me a better person than I would have been without their influences.
Two of the amazing people I met in my youth were Champ and Don. Kind and gracious, this couple had come to Canada from Trinidad, and it was a joy to visit with them. They treated us to a lovely curried chicken meal, my first experience with curry, and Champ was generous enough to share her recipe with us.
Using Jamaican Curry for Cooking
This recipe can be made in various ways and calls for Jamaican curry (or Caribbean curry) which is sweeter than Indian curry. Champ’s instructions include frying the chicken pieces before making the sauce in the pan with it. I like to keep a nice, crisp skin, so I keep it and the sauce separate.
My mom’s health issues made it necessary for her to alter the method of preparation so she didn’t have to stand as long. I will share her method below the original recipe for those who require an easy-to-make meal that allows you to walk away from the stove.
For this dish, you’ll need a package of chicken. Champ and Mom use drumsticks, but I use a family pack of thighs because that's our favourite and it is usually on sale. I've seen this done with cubed chicken breast, as well. While this recipe is great for chicken, it can also be used with goat, lamb, and even rabbit.
Step 1: Make the Curry Mix
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 TBSP olive or peanut oil
- 2 TBSP Jamaican curry powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- Ginger, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Note: I use half a red onion, but sweet onion works well. Also, my family and I prefer the flavour and texture of Roma tomatoes, but a large beefsteak or 2-3 regular tomatoes also work.
- Mix the ingredients together
- Roll the chicken in the mix so all the pieces are completely covered, put a lid on it.
- Let it marinate for 4 hours. Stir occasionally.
- Skim the oil off the top and use for frying, but I personally didn’t have that option, so I poured a bit of fresh oil in the pan.
- Wipe the excess mix off the chicken with your hand and put it aside.
Step 2: Make the Broth Mix
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cube chicken bouillon
- 1 cube beef bouillon
- Dissolve the cubes in the water thoroughly.
Step 3: Make the Thickener Mix
- ½ cup cold water
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- Whisk the cornstarch in the water until the lumps are gone.
Step 4: Make the Rice Mix
- Cooked rice (8-10 servings)
- 1 can kidney beans, drained
- Combine the kidney beans and the rice.
- Stir until thoroughly mixed.
Step 5: Put It All Together
- Fry the chicken in the oil until crunchy golden.
- Add the curry mix and let simmer until the onions no longer crunch.
- Add the broth and stir.
- When it boils, add the thickener mix and stir.
- Boil 5-6 minutes, until the sauce thickens, then put aside.
- Plate the rice and bean mix, add the sauce and chicken. Serve.
If you prefer to avoid frying your food, you can bake the chicken at 400 degrees F for 38 minutes—or until its cooked all the way through and the skin is crispy.
My Mom’s Quick Caribbean-Style Curried Chicken Method
As I mentioned, Mom needs to be able to make this quickly and with minimal babysitting. So, to save prep time, she uses a large can of diced tomatoes and pre-chopped garlic in the curry mix.
She marinates the chicken in a roasting pan for four hours and then adds the broth and thickener mix into the pan. Then, she pops the whole thing in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
Serve It How You Like It
I chose not to put the chicken in the sauce because my family likes their chicken skin crispy. Instead, I spooned sauce on the rice mix and put the chicken on the side. Also, we don't like kidney beans, so we don't add them. How do you like to serve your Carribean-style curried chicken?
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© 2019 Rosa Marchisella