xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Indra's (Mummy) Trinidadian Curried Chicken

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Indra's (Mummy) Trinidadian Curried Chicken

At various times we all crave either something sweet, something salty, something sour or something spicy.….well I have those days when I crave something curry (contrary to popular belief curry does not necessarily mean spicy)….and my mummy’s curried chicken is comforting, irresistible and by far the best I have eaten.. I have been trying to get her to make this with me for quite some time and the day finally arrived! My curry is pretty good but I wanted her to be a part of this post because she is the reason I love curry so much…Both she and my Aunty Iya came over to my house for "the big production" and we had a lot of laughs over the 'lights, camera and all the action for a small pot of curry"....so much laughs, someone almost....well, that's better left unsaid...

No diet of mine ever survives a trip to mummy's home. Her curried chicken is the reason I could never become a vegetarian. Period. One plate. Two plates. Three plates…and then my groans….and my request for help….”Could someone please stop me?” ..and then I would eat a little more......and then pack some to take home too. 

It’s no wonder Mummy cooks about 20 pounds of chicken when she makes curry…some for my aunt, my cousin who lives across the street, the neighbors who smell the scent of curry coming from her makeshift kitchen in her garage, her tenant, my sisters, some for her co-workers…and for herself of course…actually, this is a normal ritual in our family for every meal she cooks…she doesn’t cook too often anymore because she works nights and long hours in a cancer hospital, plus her arthritis prevents her from standing too long…but we do look forward to the days that she does cook….! 

The curry powder, cumin and the abundance of fresh herbs in this dish make it not only delicious.....but super healthy!

So here it is…from Mummy’s kitchen to yours! I hope you give it a try! 

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Indra's (Mummy) Trinidad Curry Chicken Recipe
Serves 6-8

3 1/2 - 4 pounds chicken--legs, thighs or a whole chicken cut up
3 scallions (about 1 cup chopped)
4 large sprigs cilantro or 6 culantro leaves (about 1/4 cup chopped )
3-5 sprigs thyme (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
5 large cloves garlic
1 medium onion, sliced and divided
3-4 tablespoons 'Trinidad' curry powder
2 teaspoons Himalayan salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
2 pimento peppers, optional
Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper- sliced

CWR's Notes:
--I used Trinidadian "Chief" brand curry powder, but also tried another blend I found in the natural food store and it worked just as well. 

-- If a variety or herbs are not available in your supermarket, feel free to use only scallions, only cilantro or only culantro (better known as BANDHANIA OR CHANDON BENI in Trinidad) along with the onion and garlic. No thyme, no problem. This recipe is flexible. Keep in mind that the minced seasoning should amount to 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon.

--Mummy uses a whole hot pepper...and then some..since she loves to grow her own during the summer.

--If using "hard" home fowl, cook on a lower heat and allow for additional cooking time.

1.Slice onion, reserve a few slices. Wash and chop herbs. Peel garlic. Slice peppers and set aside.
 Make Green Seasoning: In a food processor or blender(or chop finely by hand), mince scallion, cilantro/culantro, thyme, garlic and onion(not the reserved slices) and peppers. (you may choose not to add the onion to the blender but keep it sliced)
Set aside 1 tablespoon of the Green Seasoning for the curry paste in no.3 below.

2.Prepare Chicken: Wash chicken with lemon, removing excess fat. Drain well.
 Season chicken with salt, pepper and the remainder of the Green Seasoning
Let marinate for several hours or overnight(OPTIONAL).  

3. Make Curry Paste: In a small bowl, add 3-4 tablespoons curry powder, 4 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon of the reserved Green Seasoning. Mix well. Set aside.

4. Cook Curry: In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil, add the reserved pieces of onions and pepper and cook until golden brown. Add curry mixture and cook until grainy and curry separates from the oil, stirring constantly and scraping bottom of pot to prevent it from sticking and burning, 3-5 minutes.

5.Add Chicken-Add seasoned chicken to pot. Mix well.

Add cumin.....and salt and pepper if you haven't already. If using potatoes, add now.

 Cover pot and cook on medium heat until meat has relinquished its juices and subsequently evaporated about 15-20 minutes, gently stirring every 5-7 minutes or so in a basting motion (pouring the pan juices over the chicken).

6.  Add Water to make sauce: When the liquid has evaporated, continue to stir fry for a few seconds(or up to 2 mins) allowing the flavors to develop and scraping the bottom of the pot with the spoon to prevent it from burning. Then add 2 cups of water. 

Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, cover pot and cook until sauce has thickened about 5-10 minutes.
Taste test for salt.

Enjoy with roti...or rice....or anything nice.....:-)

Thanks for stopping by,
Cooking with love...Mummy...and curry,


saradipity said...

Great recipe Ria:) super delicious!! I make it the extact same way your mom does except for one additional ingredient. I add broad leaf thyme,(fortunately, I have a plant growing indoors).
TY for sharing.

Cooking with Ria said...

Thanks Sara! It is a delicious dish! Broad leaf thyme--Is that the same as "pudina" or caribbean thyme? Lucky you...I have had no luck with growing herbs indoors..I have an aloe plant and it will probably die any day now...:-)

Cooking with Ria said...

"That was good curry babe!" - that was kudos from the husband for this one.

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