As we say goodbye to the summer, let this Caribbean Curried Chicken turn up the heat during those chilly autumn nights. It’s an easy to prepare, one-pot dinner that’s delicious, filling and wonderfully comforting.
Caribbean Curried Chicken is a popular take-out dish served at restaurants throughout Trinidad, Guyana and Surinam. It is sometimes served with rice but more commonly served with Roti. Roti (also known as chapati) is a flatbread originating from the India. These countries all have culinary traditions rooted in cuisine India, China and Creole thanks to the many immigrants who have come to the countries over the years. I have eaten Caribbean Curried Chicken at restaurants in Trinidad and Surinamese restaurants in Amsterdam. Surinamese restaurants are popular in Amsterdam and were responsible for providing delivery services long before take out and delivery was popularized. Prior to becoming an independent state in 1975, Suriname was ruled by the Netherlands and as a result, many Surinamese people migrated to The Netherlands.Suriname is is located between Guyana and French Guiana on the North coast of South America. It is considered to be a culturally Caribbean country, and is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
I have always loved this dish and longed to cook it at home. As it turns out, finding the right balance or curry powders, and liquid in the stew was not an easy task. Although a good curry powder will enhance the flavor of any dish, finding the right balance of spices takes practice. As the origins of this dish are ancient, many recipes out there fail to give you the exact quantities, and as a result you ended up with either a bland or overly spicy stew. It took me some time to perfect the right balance between the spices and liquids, but I’m so glad I did so I could pass along this knowledge to you. I am sure you will find this a delicious curry dish, that will remain in your family for generations to come.
This Caribbean Curried Chicken is also a perfect dish for entertaining because you can make it in advance and heat it up when company arrives. Just be careful to not over cook the potatoes and carrots. I usually turn off the fire 10 minutes prior to finish cooking, and then cook for another 10 minutes right before serving it. In some caribbean islands they serve this Caribbean Curried Chicken with potato roti or rice and toppings such as shredded coconut. I prefer mine with hot white rice since there are already potatoes in the stew.
Here are some of the steps I took it to make this Caribbean Curried Chicken.
I chopped the onions on widely slices and the rest of the ingredients finely chopped.
I sear the chicken to seal in moisture and release chicken flavor into the pan, where it can be deglazed and incorporated into the stew. Just make sure that you dry the chicken in paper towels prior to sear in order to avoid splattering over the stove or you.
The final result. A beautiful chicken stew that will be sure to satisfy your tummy and your guests. Enjoy!
- 1 lemon squeezed
- 2 Tsp of salt
- 1 Tsp of pepper
- 1 5-pound chicken cut out or 6 chicken thighs and 6 drumsticks
- 3 Tbs of canola oil
- 1 large onion thick sliced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
- ¼ cup curry powder
- 1 cup chopped thinly sliced scallions (about 8 small)
- 2 Tbsp parsley chopped- set aside 1 teaspoon
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 small red potatoes peeled and halved or 3 large ones cubed
- 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 Tsp of brown sugar
- Clean and wash the chicken. Place inside a large bowl and add 1 Tsp of salt and the squeezed lemon juice. Rub it all over the chicken with the salt. Let the chicken sit at the kitchen counter and marinate it for one hour.
- Remove the chicken from the lemon juice and pat dry with paper towels. This will prevent the chicken from splattering when you sear it.
- In a Dutch oven or large thick pot, add the oil and place it on high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear the chicken skin side down then flip it over. This is just to seal the juices in the chicken, so it will still be raw. Don't overcrowd the chicken, do a few pieces at a time. Once seared, remove the chicken pieces from the pot. Rest aside. Add sliced onion to the pot with a pinch of salt. This will prevent the onion from burning. Sauté the onion until soft and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for only 20 seconds. Add wine.Turn up the fire, bring to a boil and cook until wine is reduced and the onions and garlic sit in a thick gravy for about a minute or so. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the curry powder. Stir well. Add the scallions, 1 Tbsp parsley, thyme sprigs and the bay leaf. Stir. Add the chicken pieces back to the pot. Pour in any of the cooked chicken juices. Bring to a boil, reduce fire to low, cook for 30 minutes with the pot partially closed.
- After 30 minutes, stir the chicken, add the potatoes, the carrots, the brown sugar, and the remaining 1 Tsp of salt. Stir well. Cook for another 30 minutes.
- Taste the chicken. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary and the remaining parsley. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard them. The potatoes and carrots should be tender at this point and the chicken should pull easy from the bone and have a nice gravy to it.
- If you prefer your gravy thicker, remove a ladle full of gravy, place inside an skillet and boil it on high fire for about a minute and pour back into the Curried Chicken. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley on top and serve with potato roti or hot white rice. Enjoy!
- Note: In some Caribbean Islands, it is customary to add hot pepper sauce to this dish. If that is your preference feel free to add a ¼ teaspoon or more according to taste.