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Caribbean Chicken and Rice

Trunk Bay on St. John's

It probably comes as no surprise that I like to entertain. I like to entertain so much in fact, I have actually made a cheat-sheet of things to check off, to ensure any party or gathering I’m hosting goes smoothly! I will offer you my abridged version of this list below:

The list first begins with making sure you have a final count of who is going to show up to your special event, particularly when you’re hosting a sit down dinner. Second, you must make sure you have enough (clean) plates, wine glasses, forks, knives, etc to go around.

Once that is all accounted for, it is time to figure out what the heck you’re serving! This is important to settle at least a week in advanced so you can begin to pair which platters, plates and bowls will go with what food item, and of course start grocery shopping. Cooking a beautiful roast is a bummer when you don’t have a breathtaking platter to serve it to your guests on!

Once you have determined that you will be using your Great Grandma’s gravy pot, clean it and set it aside with a post-it marking just what is going in there.. (gravy, obvi!) Do this with the rest of the platters, and bowls, and you will be well on your way to hosting heaven!

Now, there comes a time in every hostess’ life when the unthinkable happens, and they have to somehow serve an edible and elegant dinner without much time to plan ahead. This is when you need a last-minute go-to recipe that is sure to please… Without further ado, allow me to introduce to you my Caribbean Chicken and Rice recipe! Not only does this recipe taste amazing, it only requires one pot to cook in.

Also, because it is cooked over low heat for the majority of the time, you can shower, blow-dry your hair, clean a good portion of your house, and have dinner ready before your guests arrive! Brilliant I tell you!

This recipe came to me one day after wanting to change-up my old chicken recipes I had been using time and time again. I looked in my refrigerator, saw some chicken, saw this salsa and said, ‘hey’, this could work! The mango, papaya salsa really ‘kicks the chicken up a notch’ (thank you Emeril), and gets my taste buds dancing.

To really “wow” your crowd, serve this chicken dish with Caribbean or Cuban style black beans and fried plantains along side the rice.

~ Caribbean Chicken and Rice ~

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 lb chicken, cut into 8 parts, rinsed and dried with a paper-towel (2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 legs, 2 wings)… I typically buy mine pre-cut.
  • Home-made or pre-made papaya, mango salsa- I typically buy mine, after all, this is a last-minute meal here folks! See which brand I use HERE!
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cups of (uncooked) white rice (which ever your prefer, long or short grain)
  • 1 cup dry white wine (your favorite kind!)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 TBS of butter
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Cayenne
  • 2 TBS Salt
  • 2 TBS Pepper

I am lucky enough to get to cook with a Le Creuset dutch oven, so if you have one yourself, now is the time to bring that puppy out, otherwise a large pot will do just fine!

Directions:

1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt your 1 TBS of butter and 1 TBS of olive oil.

2. Add in your diced shallot and brown for 2 minutes.

3. Turning up the heat to medium-high, add your rinsed and dried chicken, (It is very import that the outside of the chicken is dry or it won’t brown), and brown on all sides. This should take roughly 15 minutes. Be sure to keep turning and flipping the chicken so each piece gets brown!

4. Next, add in your diced garlic and bell pepper, and let cook for no more than 5 minutes. Watch the garlic to make sure it doesn’t burn. Now is also a good time to check and see if the pot needs a little more oil… if it is starting to look dry at the bottom, add in a tablespoon.

5. Season the dish by adding the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne, sprinkling evenly over the chicken.

6. Next we are going to deglaze, (say it with me, deeeglaze), the bottom of the pot, by adding the wine, and gently scraping and freeing all the wonderful flavors that have baked themselves to the bottom.

7. Last but very much not least, add in the entire 15 wonderful ounces of your mango, papaya salsa. Give it a good stir, and cover with a lid or foil.

8. Turn the fire down to low, and let everything simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

9. 25 minutes before you are ready to serve dinner, thoroughly
rinse the rice two or three times in a bowl, or until the water is clear, and cook until tender. This usually takes 20 minutes, and requires two parts water to one part rice.

10. Serve a nice sized serving of rice on a plate, with the chicken and sauce on top! Enjoy!

Why I love this recipe:

The wine and the salsa have a way of getting the chicken so tender that it actually falls off the bone. It’s a wonderful recipe to make on the fly, with very little clean up, and your guests will think you have been slaving over the stove all day! Also, this chicken can be left on low over the stove top for up to 2 hours, so any late comers can still enjoy a hot meal!

Serving chips and salsa before this dinner seems to go over quite well. For a burst of freshness, you can always squeeze some lime and sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top of the chicken!

Let me know what you think below! 🙂

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2 responses »

  1. Yum!! This dish looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it out!
    Quck question: Could I make this dish with chicken not on the bone, for example with chicken breasts only? Do you think it would dry the meat out too much?
    Thanks!
    -Whit

    Reply
    • Hi Whitney and thanks for your response! Yes, you can make it with boneless chicken breast. My only advice to you is to find the boneless chicken with the skin on, or ask your local butcher to prepare the chicken for you that way since it is sometimes hard to find.

      The skin has a unique way of keeping the chicken nice and moist as it cooks, acting as a barrier to keep the juices from leaving the chicken! When using boneless chicken breast, I would also cut back on the final cooking time by 15 minutes or so… Just keep checking it!

      Reply

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