Caribbean Chicken Fricassee is intense and delicious flavor in one dish, and it is perfect when you want some island flavor.
Fricassee: (noun; plural “fricassees”) meat or poultry cut into small pieces, stewed or fried and served in its own gravy.
Or so says Wikipedia.
At any rate, I guess what I made still qualifies, although in a moment of time change-induced fatigue and absentmindedness I left all of the stock (2-3 cups!) out of this. Ironically we decided we liked it better this way–the sauce was thick and intense.
As you all know I have been a little out of the loop lately, but when I saw the theme for this month’s Monthly Mingle, Caribbean Cooking, I was immediately scrambling to find a recipe. I wish there were more events (or maybe I just miss them) celebrating the international foods I am interested in. At any rate, this one got me excited.
This fricassee–if it was a fricassee in the end–is outstanding. Bernstein says that people tend to get messy while eating this because they pick the bones clean and she was not kidding–my kids were a mess. Alex in particular went through 2 chicken legs, sucking them bone dry–pun intended, and was outraged when we would not let her have another, since I had planned for the meal to last 2 nights. The recipe called for one 3-4 lbs chicken cut into pieces, but I prefer to use breasts and legs since the legs are much easier for the kids to eat.
I served the fricassee with Caribbean rice and peas–made on the fly. I took extra aromatics from the prep work for the main dish (i.e., onion, garlic, ginger, sweet bell pepper), fried them in a little oil, added one can of coconut milk (I used light for this) and 1 can of drained and rinsed kidney beans, brought it to a boil, added 2 cups of rinsed long grain rice and then added water to cover by 3/4 inch (maybe 1 cup about). I brought this to a boil, moved to my simmer burner, covered and simmered for 8 minutes. Then (I have gas and it gets too hot), I turned the burned on and off–2 minutes off, 3 minutes on–for another 12 minutes for a total of 20 minutes simmering and steaming. This is a great method, by the way, if you have trouble with your gas burner scorching rice; it is my regular method for jasmine rice.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 3-4 lbs chicken, cut into parts (or 3-4 lbs of your preferred parts)
- salt to taste
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more later
- 1 pinch allspice, plus more later
- 1 cup AP flour
- 1 large onions finely chopped
- 1 large sweet bell pepper finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 inch piece of ginger peeled and minced
- 1/2 jalapeno with seeds OR 2 jalapenos seeds and membranes scraped out and each split in half (for jalapeno flavor with less heat)
- 1/4 t allspice
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken stock–optional and I did not use
- 3 T Worcestershire sauce
- 3 T soy sauce
- 2 T ketchup
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1 T chopped cilantro
- 1 T chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 t chopped fresh thyme
- dark brown sugar to taste
Whisk the pinches of black pepper, allspice and cayenne pepper into the flour, plus a pinch of salt. Dry the chicken pieces and then dredge them in the seasoned flour.
Meanwhile, heat a large dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Pour the olive oil in and heat it to shimmering. Fry the floured chicken, 2-3 pieces at a time, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate. When you are done, pour off about half of the oil.
Add the onions, peppers and garlic to the pot and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the ginger, jalapeno and allspice and cook another minute or 2. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ketchup (and stock if using) and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pot and cover tightly. Reduce to low heat and maintain a simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (40 minutes for me).
Stir in the scallions and fresh herbs. Add dark brown sugar to taste–I used 1 tablespoon.
Serve with rice and peas (see comments above).