May 4, 2010

What's for Dinner? Pelau!

As part of Gourmet Club this year, I was assigned as a cook for our "Caribbean" lunch, and so dutifully went searching for "traditional" Caribbean food. What I found was the classic, Caribbean dish, and when I made it, I learned why. 1 pot, about 45 minutes total, and if you follow this recipe, you can feed thousands. OK, maybe only 10-15, but my first attempt fed me, my neighbor Summer, her three children, myself again, my parents and then myself for a few more lunches until I just couldn't do it anymore (it's good, but it ain't peanut butter!). Attempt #2, I cut most the ingredients in half, and it fed me and hubby twice, and me once again... so 10's a good number for minimum mouths to feed. :)  It is DELICIOUS with flat bread.  Not the most beautiful dish... but pretty darn delicious!

Pelau consists of marinated chicken which is then cooked with rice.

1 tbsp salt (you can cut it in half, but no more than that - this is ALL the salt that is going in to season 4 lbs of chicken (I totally didn't use that much by the way - so if you do, it'll feed even more) and 3 cups of rice)
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp ginger powder
2 sprigs thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tbsp cilantro
2 cloves garlic (crushed or thinly sliced)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ketchup
1 green onion/chive
1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium tomato – chopped
Optional: ¼ tsp red pepper flake

Other Ingredients:
4-5 lbs chicken washed in lime juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 can pigeon peas/congo peas drained & rinsed (or fresh soaked overnight)
1 large carrot “coined”
3 cups long grain brown rice - rinsed
3 cups water
1 cup coconut milk (≈one can) 

1. Cut the chicken & wash in lime juice
2. Add marinade ingredients to a large bowl & mix well. Add chicken & let marinate for at least 1 hour (up to overnight for more flavor)
3. Once chicken is ready, heat large pot (must have a cover), & add oil. When oil is heated, add brown sugar & let set until caramelized (or just before it's ALL caramelized)
4. Quickly add chicken pieces to oil & turn to get caramel over all sides of all the chicken. Cover & let cook for 10 minutes. If necessary, remove lid & cook off natural juices from chicken.
5. While chicken is cooking, strain & rinse the pigeon peas & slice the carrots. Add these ingredients to the remaining marinade.
6. Once juices have reduced, add marinade, peas & carrots to the pot
7. Rinse brown rice in water a few times to wash away extra starch & add drained rice to the pot
Add water & coconut milk & stir. Bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover, & let simmer for 35 minutes or until fluid is gone

1 comment:

***** said...

It is oohhhh so delicious. But what of Betsy's is not oohhhh so delicious? Nothing that I have tried, that is for sure. Thank you for sharing the recipe lovely. I can't wait to try it out for myself when I have an army come visit for dinner.