Curry Chicken

Curry Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 chicken, about 3-4 pounds cut up into small pieces (or just chicken legs, chicken thighs, or even chicken breast)
  • 2 rounded tablespoons Trinidadian curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 6-8 sprigs of cilantro
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 scallions, or you can use half of an onion
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper, or you can substitute 1 jalapeno pepper or ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard (use any type)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (adjust to taste, but make sure the chicken is seasoned well)
  • ½ medium onion
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole lime, used to wash the chicken

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut chicken into small pieces (if you don’t mind larger pieces, you could leave a leg or a thigh as one piece). The size is really not critical—it is just a matter of how your family prefers to eat chicken.
  2. Remove all skin and fat, wash under running water. Squeeze a fresh lime onto the chicken and stir it around for a while in a bowl, allowing the lime to cover all the chicken parts. Then let it sit for about 3 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Drain all the water out. Pat the chicken dry.
  3. In a small chopper, place cilantro, garlic, scallions (or half an onion), pepper (adjust according to your tolerance for heat), and tomato. Chop thoroughly. Add these to the chicken along with the mustard, salt and black pepper. Mix thoroughly and allow the chicken to marinate in the seasonings for at least 2 hours.
  4. After the chicken has marinated, mix curry powder and turmeric in a small bowl with 3/4 cup water until completely dissolved.
  5. In a skillet large enough to contain all the chicken without crowding, heat oil. Pour the curry slurry into the oil. This is not the time to attend to anything else. You want to keep stirring the curry slurry and allowing it to cook without burning for about 4-5 minutes on medium low heat. Keep scraping the bottom so nothing sticks. If the curry mixture burns, it will taste bitter. If the curry mixture seems to be getting too dry, add tablespoonfuls of water as needed.
  6. Eventually you would see the oil bubbling through the curry mixture, and the curry will have become a thick paste. This is time to add the rest of the onions (sliced). Allow the onions to soften, then add the chicken. Turn the heat up a bit, and stir the chicken around to coat all the pieces with the curry mixture.
  7. Cook half-covered for about 5 minutes, then stir everything in the pot, checking for burning. We need to allow the initial moisture to burn off. If the chicken seems to be burning, turn down the heat and add 2 cups of water, mix together and allow to cook. Once the mixture is bubbling, turn heat down a bit, cover and cook for another 10 minutes, checking and stirring regularly every 3-5 minutes. After that time, check again. Taste for salt and pepper, adjust to taste.
  8. Allow chicken to finish cooking. Add water, if necessary, to create a little sauce. The amount of sauce should come up to about a third of the height of the chicken.
  9. Serve over jasmine rice. To eat it the traditional Trini way, grab pieces of chicken with your fingers and enjoy.
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