Maraccas Beach Pilau

An adaptation of what is virtually the Trinidadian national dish, Maraccas Beach Pilau is an exotic combination of chicken, prawns or shrimps and salt pork, flavoured with rich Trinidad rum. It makes a perfect informal party dish.

1 x

3 lb. chicken, cut into

8 serving pieces

1 lb. salt pork, cut into small cubes

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

6 medium-sized tomatoes, blanched, peeled and sliced

1 medium-sized green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and cut into cubes

1 lb. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in cold water for

30 minutes and drained

1 ½ pints chicken stock

8 oz. prawns or shrimps, shelled

6 oz. raisins

4 fl. oz.

½ cup dark rum

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

2 tablespoons malt vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

First, make the marinade. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients, mixing well to blend. Add the chicken pieces, basting well to coat them thoroughly. Cover the bowl and marinate the meat at room temperature for 1 hour.

Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and dry them on kitchen paper towels. Reserve the marinade.

In a large, heavy-based saucepan, cook the salt pork over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is lightly and evenly browned and has rendered most of its fat. With a slotted spoon, remove the pork from the pan and drain it on kitchen paper towels. Set aside.

Add the chicken pieces to the pan, a few at a time, and cook them, turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are lightly and evenly browned. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken pieces from the pan and set aside. Cook the remaining pieces in the same way.

Add the onions, garlic and sugar to the pan and cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and green pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 3 minutes. Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the rice is golden brown.

Return the chicken pieces to the pan and pour over the chicken stock. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.

Pour in the reserved marinade and add the salt pork cubes, the prawns or shrimps, raisins and rum. Stir well to mix. Re- cover the pan and simmer the mixture for a further 10 minutes, or until the pork and prawns or shrimps are heated through.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a warmed serving dish. Serve at once.

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