Chicken and rice, I think every culture has some sort of rendition of this dish. From Puerto Rican Asopau de Pollo to Japanese Oyakodon to Indian Chicken Biryani to Spanish Paella to New Orleans style Chicken Gumbo this combination is just hard to beat. They’re all good! Today I’m bringing you a Caribbean version, more specifically my take on a Trinidadian version. (Thanks so much to my FB friends from Healthy Menus and Recipes for exposing me to some Caribbean cuisine I really knew nothing about!) So this simple man’s plan to healthier eating today is Chicken Pelau A Caribbean Treasure. And what a treasure it is! To date I think it’s my take on this classic duo! The depth of flavors and levels of complexities are simply incredible. I’ve really had nothing like this.
Here’s what you’ll need for your Chicken Pelau A Caribbean Treasure:
Chicken- 2 lbs skinless thighs, drumsticks, breasts or a mix I used boneless, skinless thighs because that`s what I had in the house. Bone in might be even better.
Canola or vegetable Oil- 2 Tablespoons
Brown Sugar- 2 Tablespoons
Onion- 1/2 cup diced
Carrot- 1/2 cup diced
Celery- 1/2 cup diced
Red Bell Pepper- 1/2 cup diced
Rice- 1 1/2 cups uncooked
Green Peas- 2 cups frozen
Parsley- small bunch
Cilantro- small bunch
Thyme- 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh
Green Onion. 2 white & green parts
Garlic- 4-5 cloves
Ginger- 1 inch piece grated
Habanero Pepper- 1 seeds removed
Lime Juice- 1/4 cup
White Vinegar- 1/4 cup
Coconut Milk- 1 15oz can
Chicken Stock- 2 cups
S & P
We`re going to start with something called ´´green seasoning´´ which is really pretty unbelievably ridiculously good. I actually think it`s gonna be a go to marinade for chicken, pork, fish or shrimp. It´s just awesome & when you whirl up a batch you`ll know immediately what I´m talking about. To the bowl af a food processor or blender cup add the cilantro, parsley, garlic, green onions, ginger, habanero, thyme, lime juice, vinegar & a teaspoon of salt. Process to a loose paste. The smell is unworldly, so fresh!!In a nonreactive bowl add the ´´green seasoning´´ and chicken. Your want to let this marinate at least 1 hour but overnight is so much better.Prep the carrots, onion, red bell pepper, celery & tomato.Add the diced veggies to the chicken & marinade.Let`s get cooking! Heat a the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. When hot add the brown sugar.Let the sugar melt & get bubbly. You can see it starting to smoke. Give it a good stir.Add the chicken a few pieces at a time, stirring well to make sure you get them well coated with the oil-sugar combination.Look at that coating! It`s a thing of brown beauty! Cover the pot and let cook 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the veggies with the remaining green seasoning & give a stir.
Let this cook for 3-4 minutes.Add in the rice & stir.Add the coconut milk & stock. Stir, cover, bring to a boil & reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed & the rice cooked. Please note I used white rice here, if you`re using brown rice the time will increase to 35-40 minutes.Now add the peas & give a stir.Ready to serve, this is just so good!
Garnish with a little parsley or cilantro.
Plate & enjoy your Chicken Pelau A Caribbean Treasure!