Trinidad Chicken Pilau

A delicious mixture of rice, chicken, rum and pigeon peas makes Trinidad Chicken Pilau the perfect dish to serve at an informal dinner party. Ice-cold lager would be the perfect accompaniment to this dish.4 fl. oz. vegetable oil

4 oz. sugar

1 x

4½ lb. chicken, cut into serving pieces

2 large onions, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 large green peppers, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

1 lb. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in cold water FOR 30 minutes and drained

1 lb. canned peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped

2 green chillis, finely chopped

2 tablespoons capers

4 oz. sultanas or seedless raisins

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or l-½ teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

1 pint chicken stock

4 fl. oz. rum

1 lb. canned pigeon peas, drained

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to low and add the sugar. Fry, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and is dark brown. Add the ‘chicken pieces, a few at a time, and fry, turning frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken pieces are browned all over. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a plate and set aside while you fry the remaining chicken pieces in the same way.

Add the onions, garlic, peppers and rice and fry, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes, chillis, capers, sultanas or seedless raisins, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Return the chicken pieces to the casserole. Pour over the chicken stock and rum.

Bring the liquid to the boil. Cover the casserole and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the pilau for 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the pigeon peas and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the peas are heated through.

Remove the casserole from the heat. Serve immediately, straight from the casserole.

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