Passing on a family favourite
“Pass de dutchie pon de left hand side.” — Musical Youth
Many Bermudians spend thousands of dollars per year buying lunch and or dinner. One way to save funds is to do your own cooking, which you can eat for dinner and carry for lunch.
Today I will share a family recipe taught to me by my wife. Like most men, I don’t follow instructions well and pulled a Frank Sinatra and did it my way.
On the menu today is brown stew chicken.
This is not something you can pop in a microwave and have ready in five minutes. Cooking this requires a bit of patience.
• Chicken legs/thighs
• Brown sugar
• Table salt
• Chicken seasoning
• Pimento seeds
• Scotch bonnet pepper
• Strong arms
“Clean de chicken”
First step, cut the skin off the chicken as it is fattening. Wash the chicken in a bowl of water with some vinegar to cut out the raw taste. Repeat that about three times.
Take a cleaver and split the chicken legs and thighs into four sections about two to three inches in length. Be careful; don’t mistake your fingers for chicken legs.
Cut up the onions and scallions into half-inch pieces. Again, be careful during this process. Then put them in a plastic container.
“Gone inna mix”
This is a very crucial part of the process: the mixing of the meat and the seasonings.
Pour the chopped up meat into a stainless steel bowl, then throw in the seasonings of thyme, onion and pimento seeds. Drop in a few tablespoons of browning and then take a strong spoon and mix it for about ten minutes. Place a piece of foil over the top of the bowl and put in the fridge overnight.
By doing this, you allow the seasonings to marinate into the meat and down to the bone. Trust me, it will be worth it.
Take meat out of fridge and remove foil. The chicken meat should have a bronzelike look, as the browning and seasonings have penetrated. Now you see why removing the skin is necessary.
Get a big frying pan, or Dutch pot, pour in a small amount of cooking oil and let it preheat on the stove with a low fire for three minutes or until the oil starts to bubble. Slowly pour meat into the pot, watching for oil flying up. Once the meat is in the pot, cover the pot, keeping flame on a low level. In five minutes, check the pot — you will see the meat has begun sweating out its own flavoured water.
Add in a bit of water to bring the level up. Now throw in the chopped-up carrots and potatoes and whole scotch bonnet pepper. Now cover pot again. After ten minutes, look in pot — you will see the water level has risen. Throw in a bit of flour to thicken the gravy and a bit of brown sugar to sweeten the pot as you stir it. Continue this for another 10 to 15 minutes and by then the chicken should be ready.
Add me on WhatsApp (441-599-0901) and let me know how it turns out.