As I will be trying out many Trinidadian recipes over the course of this blog I wanted to give a small introduction to the cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago. I would just like to say that it is the best cuisine in the World!!! Ok, I am slightly biased. Usually when people ask me what Trini food tastes like, I just say “Indian food but spicier.” Trinidadian cuisine is actually very unique: it is highly influenced by Indian cuisine but also cuisines of Africa, Europe, as well as China. It makes for a very diverse mix.
One of my favorite ways to eat chicken is stewed, Trini-style. The stewing refers to the method used to brown the chicken by caramelizing sugar. It adds a rich brown sauce to the chicken and is finger lickin’ good. When I was younger I never felt the need to learn how to make it (because someone in the family graciously did it for me) but now that I am thousands of miles away from home and craving it I was forced to venture into the stewed chicken world on my own. And let me tell you, it was well worth it.
In Trinidad they use what is called “green seasoning” to season meat. Since it is hard to get your hands on any outside the twin islands, I just used cilantro, parsley and garlic.
- 2 lbs chicken (I used 4 drumsticks and 2 breasts cut into 2″ cubes)
- 1 lime
- 2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
- 2 sprigs parsley, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsps ketchup (or tomato paste)
- 2 tbsps soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 hot peppers (habanero or bird pepper, if you like your food spicy)
- 2 tbsps oil
- 5 tbsps sugar
- Place chicken pieces in a large bowl and squeeze juice of lime, then rinse chicken with water.
- Season the chicken with all ingredients except the sugar and oil.
- Let the chicken marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
- Heat oil in a large pan and add sugar. Let sugar melt and get a caramel color, it should start to bubble. Then add chicken and mix on high heat until chicken gets golden brown.
- Add just enough water to cover the chicken, then cover and let cook 20-30 minutes on medium heat, until chicken is tender.
Serve with plain white rice and a side of salad.
Warning: Be careful when adding the chicken to the steaming pot, the sugar and oil may jump up at you!