The Caribbean island of Jamaica is known for the visionary Reggae tunes of the late great Bob Marley. Jamaica is also famous for its tropical weather, tourist hotspots and succulent dishes. Along with producing fruits such as ackee, breadfruit and coolie plum, Jamaica has a wide range of dishes that are symbolic of its intriguing culture.
Curry chicken is an age-old Jamaican dish, which is seasoned and cooked primarily with curry powder. To prepare:
• Buy the chicken whole and cut it into parts, or purchase the chicken parts.
• Cut up 1 stalk of green onions, ½ regular onion, ½ bell pepper
• Sprinkle ground black pepper, paprika, seasoning salt and garlic powder onto the chicken.
• Pour ample amount–about 10 tablespoons–of curry onto the chicken and rub it in.
• Blend the seasoned curry chicken with the onions and bell peppers.
Grease a skillet with two tablespoons vegetable oil. Warm the oil on the stove. Place the chicken into the frying pan and cover it. Stir every two minutes for approximately seven minutes to ensure the meat doesn’t burn. The pot should spring water naturally, but if you want more gravy, add water. If preferred, dice potatoes into small portions and add them to the pot to thicken the gravy. Let the chicken simmer on medium-high heat for about thirty minutes, or until tender. Check the pot every ten minutes and stir or add water accordingly to prevent the meat from burning. Once cooked, serve with steamed white rice.
Stew peas may not have the worldwide fame of curry chicken, but it is no less tasty. To prepare:
• Buy 1 pack of red kidney beans
• Purchase 1 pack of chopped smoked turkey necks, legs or wings.
Pour ¾ of the red kidney beans into a cooking pot. Add water and ensure the water level is above the beans. Cover the pot and let the beans cook for twenty minutes. Then, add the smoked turkey pieces. Let the beans and the turkey cook until almost tender. Slice and add two stalks of green onions, a few thin onion slices and bell pepper, and about 15 pimento seeds. Season the pot with seasoning salt, garlic powder, ground black pepper and 2 teaspoons of margarine.
Knead ½ cup of flour. Take a pinch of the kneaded flour and rub it in your palms to make a long slender dumpling otherwise called “spinner”. Make as many spinners as you desire. To thicken the gravy, make a paste using a small amount of flour and water. Add the paste to the pot and stir. Turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer, stirring intermittently for five minutes. Serve with steamed white rice.
Rice and Peas
Rice and Peas, a popular Jamaican food, is generally served with meat such as chicken or oxtails. Rice and peas sounds easy to prepare; however, for the best outcome, it should be done with precision:
Cook ½ pack of red kidney beans in water–the water will turn considerably red as it cooks. When the beans are half-cooked, add 1 can of coconut milk; or, buy the coconut, grate it, add water, strain the milk and use it. When the beans are tender, season the pot with 1 or 2 stalks of green onions and one diced garlic clove; then, add about 10 pimento seeds, a dash of seasoning salt, ground black pepper and paprika, and four tablespoons of margarine. Add white rice. Ensure the rice level is slightly below the water in the pot. Turn the stove down to low and cover the pot. Let it cook until the rice is soft yet slightly shelly.
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