Stewed chicken or “stew chicken” is one of the top comfort foods in Trinidad (in my opinion). Super easy and flavourful and will definitely impress you friends and family. Let’s get into my recipe
5lbs of chicken (washed, cleaned and soaked in fresh lemon or lime juice)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Grace Fish & Meat Sauce
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 dried whole cloves
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 habanero pepper
1 cup fresh green seasoning (I’ll walk you through that step as well)
1 tsp. sweet soy sauce (optional)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup diced butternut squash (optional)
1/2 cup diced bell peppers (any colour)
10 culantro leaves
Ginger (2 inches worth)
10 garlic cloves
1 bundle of green onions
2 shallots or 1 medium onion
5 pimento peppers
Blend green seasoning ingredients and set aside. If done the day before, store in an air-tight container or glass bottle in the refrigerator.
Ok let’s get into it!!!
Remove all skin and fat off of chicken, wash and soak for about 15mins in water and the juice of lemon or lime. Ensure that the chicken is completely immersed in water. You can rub the already squeezed lemon or lime on each piece of chicken to assist in removing any excess of “gunk”. After 15mins, drain off the lemon/lime water, rinse chicken again until water is clear. 2-3tsps of apple cider vinegar works just as well.
Once chicken is fully drained, pour 1 cup of green seasoning, 2 tsp fish and meat sauce, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper over chicken and rub into chicken ensure that all pieces are completely covered in seasoning. Cover and let marinate in refrigerator for 30mins – 2hrs. The chicken can be marinated for up to 24hrs.
In a deep cast iron pot, heat oil and add brown sugar and allow to caramelize. Once all of the sugar is melted and golden brown, carefully add chicken (by the handful) Remember this is extremely hot oil and melted sugar so please please please be careful. Once all of the chicken is added, allow chicken to assume the golden colour of the sugar. Turn chicken carefully, a couple times until all of the chicken is golden brown. Add tomato paste, sweet soy sauce (optional), bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, water, habanero pepper, thyme, 1/4 cup coconut milk. Bring to boil and turn heat to medium, cover pot and allow to cook for 30mins. After 30mins, uncover and taste gravy and adjust taste to your liking.
Add remaining coconut milk and allow to cook for 15-20 more mins uncovered.
Once chicken is fully cooked and gravy has a beautiful gloss and consistency, pour diced bell peppers over chicken, turn off heat, stir and cover for 15 more mins.
Additional ingredients, canned pigeon peas or red beans. Either can be added 20mins before the chicken is finished cooking with the remaining coconut milk
Serve with rice, pasta, bread….just enjoy!!!