January 29, 2006

Jamaican Chicken Stew

Still not able to post new photos (soon, I hope!) but I did manage to find an unposted photo that I had stored elsewhere than my computer. This is a dish that I make quite often - it's quick, it depends on staple ingredients from my pantry, and it is delicious. It's also extraordinarily healthy, being both very low-fat and chock-full of antioxidant black beans.

There are a lot of recipes kicking around the web for Jamaican Chicken Stew and I suppose that mine isn't radically different from the others out there, but I do prefer it with my own little adjustments. I originally took the recipe from the first Cooking Light Soups & Stews collection, and added/changed/tweaked as necessary to come up with this - a household favourite that gets made at least once per month (and has been made with turkey thighs, chicken thighs, or chicken breast to good effect).

(Note: expired link removed - instead, please see recipe in the comments, below)

I make this often enough that I should probably just mix up a big batch of the spice mixture that gets tossed with the cut-up chicken. I almost always have some black beans and a can of diced tomatoes lurking around, and capers certainly keep well in the fridge. I keep a giant bottle of vermouth on the kitchen counter to use in risottos and to deglaze anything that seems to need it, which is much more pantry-friendly than the red wine listed in the original recipe. As written, the recipe takes a paltry 1/2 hour to make, from strolling into the kitchen to dishing up the finished dish. Use of a non-stick pan makes clean-up decidedly easy, and if there are any leftovers (I always plan for leftovers) they reheat splendidly for dinner or lunches the next day.

Really, this is a dish that gets five stars: one for being delicious, two for being quick, three for being healthy, four for easy clean-up, and five for terrific leftovers.

Now I know what to do with that package of chicken breasts I found on sale at the supermarket this week: I'm adding this in to my menu plan!


Typical INgredients said...

Hi Dawna,

I missed your cooking! Well the picture looks great and I'm sure the meal itself.

Thanks for sharing your recipe, I never had Jamaican Chicken Stew before but next thing I thought about is try it! Take care...


Meena said...

This looks good, I'll definitely give it a try.

PS: The roundup fo rthe FRM-Breakfast event is up. I missed you in this issue. Hope to see you in the next one!

Michele said...

We totally have the same taste in food, this looks SO GOOD!

Templar said...

I love Jamacian cooking, everyone sucks up the the jamacian lady at work when we have a pot luck, her dishes are the first empty.

Dawna said...

Thanks for your comments and support, folks! I've got my computer up and running again, and hope to be posting a little more regularly now.

Hooray for friends who understand the technology and have the tools to deal with recalcitrant machinery!

Dawna said...

Here's the recipe from the now-defunct link:

Jamaican Chicken Stew

Serves 4 over rice
Total prep and cooking time: 30 minutes

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
450 grams skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1 400 gram can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 400 gram can diced tomatoes (with juices)
1/4 cup white vermouth
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed & drained
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 teaspoon hot curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of salt
cilantro, to garnish

Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks, dice the onion and green pepper, and open the cans of black beans and diced tomatoes. Drain the beans in a sieve, discarding the liquid, and rinse thoroughly with cold water. If you are serving this over rice (recommended), start the rice preparation now, so it can simmer unattended while the stew comes together.

Mix all of the seasoning spices (the right-hand column, except the cilantro) in a large bowl. add the chicken chunks and toss to coat.

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken pieces and stir them around until they get lightly golden on the outside. Add the onions and garlic, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook and stir until the onions start to become translucent - about 3 minutes. Add the vermouth (or other white wine) and stir through. Add the beans, tomatoes with their juices, and capers. Add the green peppers and stir through carefully while the mixture heats up enough to bubble. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir periodically if you wish. Garnish with chopped cilantro or finely sliced green onions.