One of the first West Indian dishes that I ate after embracing my Antiguan heritage was Curry Chicken. Growing up in Michigan with my Antiguan dad and American mom, I typically ate mostly American cuisine, and occasionally had an island themed beef patty. Even on trips to visit my grandmother in Jamaica Queens, I only ate the beef patties. Until one summer, my aunt in Elmont NY cooked curry chicken, and my parents were not around. My sister and I didn’t know what it was, and went with the flow of my cousins and uncle at the table. The minute we tasted the curry chicken, we were in love. We never used hot sauce until we saw our family in New York using it, now I order multiple bottles at a time from our favorite hot sauce brand Susie’s (made in Antigua). You want to talk about eye opening. I think this experience probably opened my eyes to trying different types of food and trying to make more Caribbean dishes.
Curry Chicken Recipe
4 chicken thighs
Jamaican Curry Powder
1 medium sized onions thinly sliced
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 scotch bonnet pepper, diced finely
8 whole allspice berries
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
Seasoning the Chicken
Salt and pepper the chicken, and coat the chicken with curry powder and place the chicken in a plastic container or bag. Place the sliced onions, scotch bonnet, allspice berries, and thyme sprigs into container with the chicken. Allow the chicken to sit overnight while refrigerated.
Cooking the Chicken
On medium high heat add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan, and 2 tbsp of curry powder to toast, once you smell the aroma, add the chicken to brown on all sides, and add the rest of the contents of the plastic container to the pan. Once the chicken is browned, add water to just cover the chicken and bring to a boil, lower the heat to allow the chicken to simmer. When the chicken has cooked through and is almost falling off of the bone (in about an hour) add the coconut milk, and simmer for 20 more minutes. Taste, and determine if the level of heat is to you liking, if it needs more heat, add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce. I’ll blog about Susie’s separately…yum.