Caribbean Chicken Hotpot/Guisado De Pollo Al Estilo Caribeño

Here is a caribbean  inspired stew, which is easy to cook and prepare..

 INGREDIENTS

One 2 kg Chicken, jointed into around 8 pieces OR Chicken Thigh/Leg Pieces

1 Litre of Chicken Stock or to taste

2 Spring Onions

Half an Onion

 2 Crushed Garlic cloves

1 Tablespoon of Pimento/Jamaican Allspice Berries crushed

1 Small Bunch of Thyme

1 Small Bunch of Oregano

 1 Tablespoon of  Paprika

 2 Large Tomatoes

 Grating of Nutmeg

 2 Teaspoons of Coriander Powder

 Half a Bag of New Potatoes, halved and washed

 4 Large Carrots, peeled and sliced

 1 Birdseye Chilli chopped, or to taste

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

 METHOD

Firstly chop the whole chicken, or get your butcher to do so. Wash in lime juice/vinegar and water, drain and season.  Peel the carrots and chop, along with the onion and spring onions. Heat some oil in a pot, and fry the chicken, onions and carrots. Leave to fry for 10 minutes, and then  add the other seasonings and some stock. Add the potatoes and cook on a gentle heat for 40 minutes, or transfer to a slow cooker or casserole pot; It will take longer, probably for one and a half hours, or at least until everything is tender. Serve with Steamed Savoy Cabbage, Spinach, and if desired Mangetout. Enjoy!!!

Spicy Mexican Chicken Lasagne

This is another take on a lasagne, using a spicy tex-mex seasoning and chicken.. Spicy Mexican Chicken Lasagne(With Spinach Salad)

INGREDIENTS

5 Chicken Breasts sliced or more if needed
Zest of 1 Lime
1 Tablespoon of Pimenton Dulce(Sweet Smoked Paprika)
1 Teaspoon of Chilli Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Cumin Powder
A Small Bunch of Coriander chopped
About 750 mls of Bechamel Sauce *See Tex-Mex Lasagne Recipe for milk and milk free bechamel sauce
1 Tin of Tomatoes
1 Onion sliced
1 Bell Pepper Sliced
2 Cloves of Crushed Garlic
A Shot of Tequila(Optional)
8-10 Sheets of Lasagne, or more if needed
200 grams of Cheese, or more to taste
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

METHOD

Fry the onions, pepper, garlic and meat in a pan. Add the paprika, and other seasonings, except coriander. Fry for 10 minutes, and add the tinned tomatoes, and a splash(150 mls) of water and tequila, if using. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Make the bechamel sauce and grate the cheese.

Turn off the chicken mixture, and stir some chopped coriander and the lime zest. Leave to stand. Pour a layer of white sauce into a pyrex dish, pasta and meat mixture. Layer until the meat mixture and white sauce are used. Sprinkle with cheese, and bake in an oven for 30 minutes or more on a low heat, when it should be golden brown and the pasta sheets should be tender.

Chicken Chow Mein

I love noodles,and this is a take on the most popular Chinese dish taken to the west.

INGREDIENTS

500 grams Of Chicken Breasts/Legs/Thigh
*To remove the meat from the bone, make an incision into the top part of the leg/thigh and move the knife all the way down, cutting until you reach the tendons. Continue the method until all the meat is cut from the bone. Cut the meat away, and cut the flesh into chunks. Continue this with the other pieces of meat.

A piece of Ginger-Around the size of a matchbox
3 Small Spring Onions chopped
2 Cloves of Crushed Garlic
A Tablespoon each of Light and Dark Soy Sauce-You may need more to taste.
1 Packet of Preserved Vegetables(Needle Mushrooms)-These can be bought from a Chinese Store.
1 Packet of Bean Sprouts
1 Packet of Thin Egg Noodles
A Few Dashes of Sesame Oil
Cooking Oil

METHOD

Chop the chicken into chunks, and wash both the spring onions and meat. Drain them, and add grated
ginger and the two soy sauces. With two hands, mix the seasonings and chicken together.

Leave to marinade for a few hours or even better, overnight for the flavours to develop.

Heat a wok, and some cooking oil. Fry the chicken, and then after 10 minutes on a medium heat, add a splash of water, and leave to simmer for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, boil the noodles according to packet instructions, and wash the beansprouts.
Add the beansprouts to the wok and turn up the heat. Add the sesame oil and a little more cooking oil. The noodles should have been cooked, so drain and add to the wok, turning and frying the noodles. Add seasoning as necessary, and cook for 3 minutes. Serve hot, with this dish as a side dish, with other dishes like, Egg Fried Rice, Spare Ribs with sauce, Salt and Pepper Squid, and Char Siu Steamed Buns. Enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup/Sopa De Pollo Con Fideos

A simple soup recipe, for when you dont have time to cook or want a comforting  meal.. 

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Wings-Either half a packet or 1 whole packet(1 kg-This can serve 6-8 servings)

1 Turnip chopped
2 Carrots chopped
3 Stalks of Celery chopped
3 Spring Onions chopped

A Few Cloves

Ginger chopped-The size of 1 small matchbox

2 Fennel Bulbs sliced
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 Cloves of Garlic
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Half a Packet of Egg Noodles-If making a big portion, add a whole packet

A Small Handful of Shitake Mushrooms, soaked, rinsed and sliced

500mls of Chicken stock
METHOD

Chop, wash and prepare the vegetables and meat. Fry the vegetables and meat, on a moderate heat for 10 minutes, adding the cinnamon and salt and black pepper, and any other seasonings. Add the stock and some water, and let the pot boil for 20 minutes. Check on the pot occasionally, to avoid spillage.
Turn down the pot after this time and leave to simmer for one hour.

After an hour, when every thing is tender,firstly, add the mushrooms. Then, after 15 minutes, add the noodles. Add 1 block per person.Leave to cook for around 8-10 minutes. Serve the soup hot. This can serve 4-6 people. Enjoy!

Roast Chicken/Pollo Asado

A classic Roast Chicken recipe..

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Chicken, with giblets removed and cavity cleaned.
Wash in vinegar and water.

Seasoning
Juice of half a Lemon
2 Teaspoons of Dried Rosemary OR 3 Sprigs of Rosemary, with leaves taken from the stalks and chopped

Dried OR Fresh Thyme- Repeat method for fresh rosemary

3 Bay Leaves-To put inside the cavity and under the breasts
2 Teaspoons of Salt or to taste
Black Pepper to taste
2 Cloves of Crushed Garlic OR 1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
Around 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

METHOD

Clean and wash the chicken and make sure the water is drained from the chicken, and set aside while you make the special basting/seasoning. For the baste, combine all of the ingredients, except the bay leaves, and whisk until you obtain a slightly thick seasoned oil.

Pour little at a time of this over the chicken, making sure the seasoning is in the cavity and that the breasts and thighs are seasoned by pouring and rubbing some under the skin.

Put one bay leaf in the cavity, and two under the skin surrounding the breast meat. Put in an oven, on 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes, in order for it to gain a little colour. After this, lower the heat to 170 degrees and leave to cook for 45-60 minutes, depending on size of the chicken.

Make sure to leave the chicken roasting it breast side down, to keep the breasts succulent. Turn the bird, after around half an hour, and if cooking well, turn up the heat to 180 degrees, and baste regularly. When cooked, making sure there are no pink juices, serve with roast potatoes and vegetables.

Chicken Stock/Caldo De Pollo

A stock is the basis of any meal and should be use to bring out the flavour of the meat/vegetable being used.

INGREDIENTS

1 Packet Chicken Necks/or any bony part of Chicken, such as side breast with a little meat on it
1 Teaspoon of Turmeric(May be known as the name Haldi in South Asian stores.)
3 Carrots chopped
3 Stalks of Celery chopped
1 Onion chopped
2 Teaspoons of Sage, Thyme, and Marjoram
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Bay Leaves
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Vegetable Oil
1 Litre of water
METHOD

Chop, wash and prepare the vegetables and meat on the bone. Fry the meat and vegetables, on a moderate heat for 10 minutes, adding the herbs and spice to the pot and salt and black pepper. Add the water and let the pot boil for 20 minutes. Check on the pot occasionally, to avoid spillage.
Turn down the pot after this time and leave to simmer for one hour.

After an hour, and when the stock has reduced by half; Check for seasoning, add as neccesary, and strain the liquid into a container/bowl. Skim any excess fat and allow to cool. Use as and when needed.

* You can use this stock as an instant gravy.. Simply add cornflour dissolved in a little water and add to hot stock, whisking the liquid until the sauce has thickened.

Seasoned Rice/Arroz Sazonado

I often make one pot dishes and this is just one of many dishes that I have.

INGREDIENTS

400 grams of Stewing Beef/Shin of Beef
Chicken Stock-Dissolve 2 stock cubes in 500mls of water..You may not need all of the stock, but use some and store the rest in the fridge. You can also make your own *stock.
Small Bunch of Parsley and Basil-About one handful of each
200-300 grams of Chicken Breast Pieces
1-2 Cans of Black Eyed Peas
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Pimentón Dulce(Sweet Smoked Paprika)
1 Onion/Half a Leek
1-2 Tablespoons of Annatto
Cayenne Pepper(Optional)
Cooking Oil

**Fried Green or Yellow Plantain to be fried and served with the finished dish.

METHOD

Firstly Wash and prepare the meats in lemon juice and water, removing excess slime or greasiness. Cut all meats into small cubes or ask your butcher to do it. Reserve the chicken as this will be added to the pot after the beef has cooked.

Heat the oil in a pot along with the annatto. Heat the oil until, the annatto has turned the oil a dark orange-red colour. Use a slotted spoon to take out the seeds. Season the beef with the paprika, and a little salt. place inb the oil to start browning, and slice the onion/leek-Taking care to rinse the dirt from it, and put in the pot alongside the beef. Fry the meat and onion/leek for about 10 minutes or until the meat has some colour and the onions have softened. Then add some of the stock, and cook the meat for 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Use a pressure cooker to lessen the time if you are short of time.

When the beef has cooked, add the chicken, and chop the basil and parsley, and the beans. Cook for about 10 minutes.Taste the cooking liquid, for enough salt. If not enough, then add the remaining stock. Wash rice, at least 3 times to eliminate starch, and add it to the pot.

Put the pot to rapidly boil,until the water starts to evaporate, and then turn down the heat and leave to cook for about 20 minutes to half an hour. Stir the ingredients once or twice, making sure that the rice and meats,are evenly distributed throughout the pot. Add more water if needed and adjust the heat as needed. If the water has evaporated too quickly and if any grains are uncooked add upto one cup of water to the pot and adjust the heat.When cooked, Serve with any vegetable of your choice. Enjoy!!

*Look on the sauces category/page.
**Look on the vegetarian category/page.

Pot Roasted Chicken With Sunflower Seeds/Pollo Asado En Olla, Con Semillas De Girasól/Pollo Assado En Olla, Com Sementes De Girassól

Seems like a weird combination…Bird seed mixed with Chicken??? WTF!!… This is probably what you are all thinking…But you are wrong.. I can assure you. It is fresh and tender and tasty, chicken with, nutty crunchy sunflower seeds. ‘Licks lips’…

INGREDIENTS

1 Whole Medium to Large Chicken
Juice of 1 Lemon
Small amount of Fresh Dill and Thyme, chopped and stripped of the leaves from the stalks

Salt and pepper
to taste
Garlic(Optional)
Vegetable Oil

Take care to clean and gut the chicken, but leave it whole and do not spatchcock it.

In a small mixing bowl, mix the lemon juice and other seasonings, along with some oil.

When this is mixed,start to pour over the bird,and rub it into the chicken(Under the skin etc), making sure that the seasonings have been rubbed all over,-including the cavity of the bird.

Heat a pot with a little vegetable oil, and then add the chicken, browning it for at least 5-10 minutes on a medium heat.

After this turn it down slightly and cover the pot. Monitor it regularly to ensure that it doesn’t stick. When it has been cooking for around 30 minutes, add the sunflower seeds,and leave to continue cooking until the bird is thoroughly cooked*. Disfrutalo!!

*Check that it is cooked by putting a skewer into the chicken thigh or other thickest part of the chicken. If the juices run clear, then the chicken is cooked.. If blood runs out, leave to cook for at least 10-15 minutes longer.

Southern Fried Chicken Hearts

I know what you’re thinking…..The thought of eating chickens hearts is a bit daunting, if you dont eat offal, or have had really bad memories of it…
A little bit of offal, is quite good and rich in iron and minerals.This is the most ‘mouth-friendly’ offal, as I was inspired by Southern American cooking, and came up with my own take on things.. Most of the recipes used just salt, pepper and flour…I have used the herbs and spices that were available to me. You could also try this with precooked chicken gizzards and beef heart…Just dip in egg before you apply the coating.

 

Ingredients

500 grams-1kg of *Chicken Hearts-Cleaned of surplus fat and vein
200mls to 300mls of Vegetable oil for frying-You may need more or even less if you are frying in batches and the flour turns the oil black.
1-2 Eggs beaten
SEASONED FLOUR:

1 TABLESPOON OF-

Pimenton Dulce(Sweet Spanish Paprika)
Dried Sage
Dried Thyme
Ground Cumin
Powdered Garlic
Salt
500 grams of Plain/Harina Pan-This is a precooked Cornmeal flour(It come in Yellow or White varieties), used in Latino communities, to make Arepas(Corn breads), Tamales etc, and is also good to make a crunchy coating for the hearts, or any other Southern Fried recipe.

**Remember to check that the mixture has enough seasoning, by coating a piece and frying it, and tasting it.

METHOD

Clean the hearts, trimming off any small amounts of fat and more importantly, removing the vein, the slice in half. It helps to prepare the meat a day before usage, to save time, as the vein must be cut off. wash off any blood and place in a colander to drain excess water.

In a bowl, crack an egg or two,(If using two.), and use an electric whisk, or whisk with a manual whisk/fork…Whichever is easier for you. Whisk until foamy and light. Which should only take a few minutes. In another bowl, pour out the flour, and a tablespoon of each of the seasonings. Fold the seasoning mixture,scooping the mixture in from the sides of the bowl and incorporating the seasonings and flour until all of the mixture is thoroughly distributed. Heat some of the oil, and put a small batch of heart halves into the whisked egg/s.

Take the pieces out of the egg and toss into the seasoned flour. Shake off any surplus flour and put into the pan,in small batches on a medium heat to prevent burning.Turn them after about 3-5 minutes, by which time, they should be cooked through and be a golden brown colour. Repeat these steps with every batch, place the cooked hearts and place on kitchen towel, to soak up any extra fat.

Serve with spring greens and mashed potato, with a gravy/sauce of choice…. It is also good with coleslaw and harddough bread(A Jamaican Bread). Divertais!!

* TO CLEAN CHICKEN HEARTS: To do this take a chicken heart and knife, and using the knife hand, grip the knife in your palm, and place a thumb and forefinger near to the blade-Be careful though!
Use a downwards scraping action, to trim the fat from the base of the heart. Use the same action for the top of the heart, but at the same time, slice off the vein which is at the top. Slice each heart in half, and continue with the others. You could also use kitchen scissors to cut off the vein and leave the small amount of fat if you wish.