Due to popular demand this is on the menu every week. This is the first meat dish I learned to cook from my Jamaican Granny, Miss Enid.
We ate this with rice and peas every sunday, and when I smell it cooking, I remember my Grandparents at their best.
The chicken is best when cooked on the bone, seasoned overnight and browned in a dutchpot. Stew slowly so the meat does not disintegrate.
I season with: salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic, coriander, ginger, onion, spring onion, thyme, pimento seed, clove, scotch bonnet and sweet pepper. But before I season I always soak my chicken in salt water and lime or lemon. I do this because my Granny told me to! But believe it is to ensure the chicken is clean and to avoid bacteria. Many Caribbean cooks do this and you can taste the difference. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and pat dry before seasoning or the chicken will be too salty.
Brown the chicken in ground nut and coconut oil, until the chicken is dark brown, if the chicken does not brown then there will be no gravy! Once chicken browned and taken out of the pot, quickly fry the onions, pepper and garlic with a generous tablespoon of dark muscovado sugar until golden brown, not burnt. Remove onion and drain oil from the pan and deglaze pan with 2 glasses of good white wine, although you can use water.
Once all the juices have merged, put chicken back in the pot with any vegetables you care to use. I use carrots leaks tomato and diced sweet potatoes, and a pint of good chicken stock.
Some cooks may use shop bought stock, but I make my own. cook slowly for at least 30 mins until the chicken is soft.
Dont forget to taste because you may need to add salt and pepper after you add the vegetables.
Serve with freshly cooked rice and peas, Coleslaw and I recommend Guinness punch to wash it all down.
Next week it’s Ackee and saltfish, (pictured) proper comfort food.
Bless up and stay righteous
Ms Rice an Peas x