Ohhh me lawd, look at dat plate ah food, nuff, nuff ital. in dey you know. Beets, plantains, yams, I tink I see dasheen, salfish souse, figs, dumplings. Oh me lawd, ne belly growling now. Wha yuh go drink wid it nah gul? Passion fruit juice, guava juice, wait, wait, maybe some soursoup juice. Wha you cawn mek up yuh mind. Ok, ok, I go stop talking to yuh, yuh making me hungry for so. No, no, no. leh me go, I going home to cook me own lunch. Out me wey.
- Chicken marinate
- 1- 1½ pound skinned chicken thighs
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt or creole seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1-2 teaspoon green seasoning
- ¼ – ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup canola oil (or canola)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 teaspoons creole spice
- 2 cups uncooked long grain rice
- 3 cups butternut squash (large dice)
- 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 13.5 oz. can (1¾ cups) coconut milk
- 15.5 oz. can pigeon beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 small bay leaves
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 3 ½ cups or more chicken broth or water
- 1-teaspoon chicken bouillon (optional)
- 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper.
- 1 teaspoons paprika (optional)
- Place chicken in a large bowl or sauce pan then add salt, garlic, ginger, thyme, white pepper and green onions
- Mix chicken with a spoon or with hands until they are well coated, set aside in the fridge. If possible marinate for 30 minutes or overnight.
- When ready to cook shake off any excess spice or from the chicken.
- Wash rice until water runs clear. Drain water. Set aside,
- Place a large Dutch Oven or heavy bottom pan on medium heat, then add sugar, keep stirring until it caramelize and begin to turn deep brown. Be careful not to let it burn.
- Stir in chicken and sauté for about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. I usually reserve some chicken to top the rice but it must be fully cooked.
- Then add onions, garlic, thyme, oil, bay leaf and ketchup, sauté for about a minute.
- Stir in rice to the pan, followed by squash and pigeon peas for about 3 minutes. This process helps to infuse the ingredients with all the spice before the next step
- Finally add coconut milk, bouillon powder, creole spice, with 3 ¼ cups of water, bring to a boil reduce heat, and simmer until rice is cooked, about 20 minutes or more. Stir frequently from the sides to prevent burns, add more broth if needed.
- Adjust for salt and pepper. Discard bay leaves .You have to stir occasionally to be preventing any burns.
- Serve warm
My first attempt at America sold food, Collard greens, mac and cheese, Fish and chicked. Hmmmm, the fish almost tasted like island fried fish, it was good, the chicken was different, Mac and cheese, first time I eat it since 1995, collard greens, which I eat for the first time, hmm a lot like Calaloo. All in all it was good eating.
Ahhh yes, in my dreams, I was sitting in the floating restaurant, on the side that looked out onto the ocean, smell the food cooking in the kitchen. Oh the scent of cloves, chives, thyme, sweet peppers, coconut milk boiling and the main ingredient, the lobster. Oh yes, a feast not for a king but a hungry island, bring on the Oil Down. I do not want to wake up.
Hmnmm may be some calaloo sup for lunch today.
I saw this picture this morning and it reminded me of the yard fowls I had. It was October 1983, gun fire echoed through the village, fighter jet roared over head causing the galvanize roof to vibrate violently. My stomach rumbled, sharpe hunger pains meandered through my belly. For two weeks all I had to eat was hard boiled eggs and fruit. Shops were closed, or looted, harvesting season for corn and peas had come and gone. I looked over at my chicken coup. The twenty or so chickens clucked and flapped their wings as an explosion shook the trees on the hill behind the house. I opened the door and walked over to the coup, the fowls were quiet now, as if anticipating something. I opened one of the doors and grabbed one of the birds. It fought back, its wings flapping wildly. I walked over to the bucket that lay on the concrete stand next to the door. The cutlass sat next to the stand, its sharpen edges glittered in the tropical sunlight. I removed the bucket and lay the fowl on the concrete stand. I covered its body with the bucket leaving its head out. I reached for the cutlass but hesitated, looked at the bucket, the bird did not move, there was complete silence as if it was giving into it’s fate. How can I do this, these birds were more my pets then a food source. The sound of gunfire brought me back to reality, my stomach grumbled with a combination of fear and hunger. I lifted the cutlass, swung it. I sat and looked at the place of cooked chicken, I did not eat until my stomach compelled me to. That night I lay in the dark agonizing about what I had done. Then like a jumbie, I got up and walked to the back door, the night was orange with the glow from flares, sporadic gunfire persisted beyond the hills. I walked over top the chicken coup, opened the door and shewed the fowls the fowls out. The flapped their wings, landed on the ground, then with a confusion of clucks disappeared into the fading light of the flares.