A few weekends ago I made the mistake of making CARIBBEAN CHICKEN AND MANGO CURRY from Leon’s ‘Happy Curries’ for my Jamaican best friend. She sat and watched me cook in my kitchen and pointed out everything was most unCaribbean about the recipe. It was an eye opener – nevertheless the curry was consumed with gusto and the only other controversy was the matter of #ricegate – which we can get into another day, if I feel like it!
The next time I went to her house she shared with me, a tried and tested recipe for curried chicken from Jamaica. It took me a few weeks to get organised enough to cook it for dinner one evening but somehow worth the wait.
It was a fairly easy to make, marinade the chicken in a spring onion, garlic and ginger paste, rub in the curry powder, fry the chicken pieces and the boil and simmer with potatoes until cooked.
The author suggested that the dish should be ‘served with flair’. I don’t know if I managed it, but I used some mango 🥭 pieces, grated carrots 🥕 and sliced cucumber 🥒 with lime juice, olive oil and coriander 🌿 to made a quick salad to accompany it. The fresh citrus flavour and sweetness of the mango where a perfect compliment to the savoury chicken.
So of course it wasn’t perfect. I made a few mistakes along the way. Firstly putting the ginger, garlic and spring onion in the food mixer that I had, didn’t work. It wouldn’t chop and I added water to no avail. Then I put the mixture in my Nutribullet which helped but I was left with a very ‘wet’ paste, which I’m not sure was the recipe authors aim. This also meant that when I came to brown the chicken, well it just did not brown and stayed pale and white for the entire cooking period. I’m told by my friend that Jamaicans like their chicken to be brown when cooked. There is even a sauce called ‘browning’ that they use to achieve this. Where have I been all these years that I didn’t know this! Well you live and you learn.
My other error was not letting more of the water evaporate because I ended up with a rather watery mixture more like chicken stew. Although I do wonder if it’s because I used relatively few chicken pieces found in my freezer- rather than an actual whole cut up chicken like the recipe suggested. Anyhow, it had thickened up the next day when I ate it for lunch at work.
All in all, another recipe to add to my selection. I’ll alway have the ingredients on hand and it’s really simple to execute. All good then 🙂.
2 Spring onions
3 Garlic cloves 🧄
1/4 inch root Ginger
1 whole Chicken (3-4 lbs)
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
Pinch of Pimento
1 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt 🧂
3 medium Potatoes 🥔
2 tbsp Oil
2 cups Water
- While frozen, cut chicken into 1 1/2 to 2 inch serving pieces. if cut when frozen, the bones will not splinter and will be better enjoyed at eating time.
- Blend garlic, spring onion and ginger, leave for 30 minutes.
- Mix curry powder and a pinch of pimento with sugar and salt. Rub on chicken. Leave for a further hour.
- Brown chicken in 2 tbsp oil. Keep turning until curry powder is cooked. Add 2 cups of water and 3 medium potatoes cut into cubes. As soon as liquid starts boiling, turn down the heat and allow to simmer until chicken is cooked, approximately 20 – 30 minutes, chicken should be tender.
- Dress up curry chicken with accompaniments and serve with flair. The usual accompaniment is Mango Chutney, but slices of dried coconut without the dark skin, pineapple chunks, orange segments, ripe bananas, raisins, grated carrot and yoghurt can be served
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