RECIPE #119, DAY #142
ORIGINAL RECIPE: “St. Lucia Chicken,” from Bert Greene’s Kitchen by–who else–Bert Greene*
TIMING: 30 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Pretty easy
TOOLS: Just a large skillet, maybe a spatula and/or tongs
COOK TYPE: Stovetop
HEALTH: There’s nothing much wrong here, unless you are going to argue chicken skin. Although chicken skin is full of vitamins and nutrients, you don’t want to go about eating it with every meal. And I suppose you can try this recipe without the skin. The flavor would hold up, minus a little umami, but I can’t guarantee the moisture of the chicken. Basically, this is already a healthy, down-home protein.
EXPERIENCE: Had some bone-in chicken thighs. Had just noticed a recipe in Bert Greene that required some bone-in, skin-on chicken, so I revisited it. It seemed simple enough for a weeknight, and Greene is my favorite cookbook author because his recipes are usually awesome.
This was lick-my-plate good. The combination of sweet, savory, salty, and dark is perfect, and the intensity is, well, impactful. With just steamed rice, it made for a tastebud sensation.
NOTES: You could make this recipe with up to 4 pounds of chicken. You could also make it by home-butchering a whole chicken. Leave the rest of the recipe the same, but the intensity of the flavor will diminish a little. Really, it will probably be a little more appealing to most Americans subdued in this way.
You could also use fresh thyme and parsley, just increase the quantity, but add it at the same time. Generally, 1 teaspoon of dry herb equals 1 tablespoon of fresh.
You could probably make this a spicy dish, as well, which would bring all of the flavors to the table. Some fresh chilies in the veggie stage would work, as well as cayenne in the spice mixture.
- In a small bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dry parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon curry powder. Set aside.
- Rub 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces with 1 clove smashed garlic, leaving the pieces on and under the skin.
- Heat a wide, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Melt 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (brown would also work) until it turns brown, like dark caramel. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in 1/3 cup water, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Place chicken in the pan, top-side down. It must fit in one layer. Over top, sprinkle 1 diced celery stalk, 1 diced carrot, 1 diced onion, and 1 chopped clove garlic. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the chicken. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Check chicken for doneness, which you can do with a knife or with a thermometer. When it is done, remove with tongs to a platter and tent with foil.
- Increase the heat and cook the veggies and sauce until thickened. Taste for salt and pepper and serve poured over top of the chicken. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Serve with steamed rice. Coconut rice would be nice. Also, a Caribbean veggie, like peppers, peas, or corn.
*Recipe changed from the original.