Thursday, July 12, 2012

Caribbean Coconut Chicken Curry

Caribbean Coconut Chicken Curry is a one pot meal with potatoes, butternut squash, eggplant, onions, mango, papaya and of course large pieces of fall-off-the-bone chicken legs and thighs.  The base for the curry sauce is comprised of coconut milk and chicken broth infused with the spices of Turmeric, Coriander, Mustard Seeds, garlic, sea salt and a habanero pepper.  The result is a traditionally rich yellow curry mixed with the sweet flavors of mango and papaya.

Cooking this curry dish will take about an hour but most of the time is spent simmering the chicken in the sauce.  First the chicken is browned in olive oil.  Then the vegetables are simmered to soften and brown.  The spice paste is mixed into the cooked vegetables followed by the chicken, coconut milk, broth and bay leaves.  Everything is left to simmer in a covered pot for several minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and tender to your liking.  Before the dish is served, the chopped mangoes and papaya are stirred into the sauce and heated for five minutes for the finishing touch.   

Caribbean Coconut Chicken Curry

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 minutes


4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Chicken Pieces (legs and thighs)
2 Yellow Onions Roughly Chopped
1/2 Butternut Squash Peeled and Cut into 1 inch Cubes
1 Small Eggplant Cut int 1 inch Cubes (Japanese or Chinese Eggplant works well)
2-3 Medium Potatoes Peeled and Cut into large Cubes
12 oz Can Coconut Milk
12 oz Can Chicken Broth
2 Bay Leaves
1 Ripe Mango Peeled and Cut into Cubes
1 Small Papaya Peeled and Cut into Cubes

Spice Mix Ingredients

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard Seeds
3 Garlic Cloves Roughly Chopped
1 Habanero or Scotch Bonnet Pepper Deseeded & Diced
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Step 1: Pound all the ingredients of the spice mix into a paste using a pestle and mortar (about 3-4 minutes).  Set aside.

Step 2: Heat the 2 Tablespoons of oil to medium high in a large caste iron pot or Dutch Oven.  Season the Chicken with salt & pepper.  Add the chicken to the pot and gently brown on all sides (5-8 minutes).   Remove and set aside.

Step 3: Add the rest of the olive oil to the pot along with the onions, eggplant, butternut squash and potatoes to the pan.  Saute the ingredients together, lower the heat and cover to simmer until potatoes are soft enough to be easily punctured with a fork (about 10 minutes).

Step 4: Add the spice paste to the pan and stir it into the ingredients until fragrant (2 minutes).   Add the coconut milk, chicken broth and bay leaves and bring the pot to a mild simmer.  Return the chicken to the pot and submerge the meat into the sauce.  Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender.

Step 5: Before the dish is ready to be serve, add the mangoes and papaya to the pot and simmer for about 5 minutes before serving.  Recommend serving this dish with a side of basmati rice.  It could also be served on its own as a one pot meal.

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