a great Friday night meal – Trinidad Stew with fresh steamed asparagus

Trinidad & Tobago’s unique and mouth-watering cuisine is an outward expression of the twin island’s multi-ethnic makeup and the people’s passion for food. Recipes, seasonings and cooking methods for many of Trinidad and Tobago’s famous dishes can be traced over the country’s 6000-year history.

Original dishes were influenced by the Amerindians, Spanish, French, British, Americans, African slaves and Indentured laborers (among them Chinese, East Indians, Portuguese and Madeirans).

Stews from this part of the world are all about spicy intense broths and big pieces of chicken slow-cooked to perfection. Most recipes for chicken stew call for grated coconut flesh which I substituted with grated ginger instead. Spicing it up a bit, I added chicken stock and concentrated on some hearty tomato flavor.

The recipe gets off to fine start reducing sugar, red wine with cumin and gram marsala – its so fragrant it fills the whole house with rich warm spicy aromas. Definitely a great start to the weekend!

My hubby David gives this recipe a big enthusiastic two-thumbs up – – which is a hard rating to achieve. Enjoy!


Trinidad Chicken Stew

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine (Pinot Noir?)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon gram marsala
  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, halved
  • 4 small skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves finely diced garlic
  • 1/2 of white (sweet) onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 14.5 oz can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 8 scottish yellow “butter” potatoes (about 1 pound), quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock

Directions

  1. Dissolve two tablespoons sugar in 1/4 cup red wine and set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottomed 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the cumin and gram marsala and cook in the hot oil till fragrant, about ten seconds, then add the sugar/wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until very dark and reduced, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the diced onion and cook till soft, about five minutes.
  5. Add the chicken pieces, ginger, tomato paste, garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper.
  6. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken is brown, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes and stir the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a spoon.
  8. Add the thyme, 2 tablespoons of parsley, sweet corn, potatoes, and chicken stock.
  9. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley and sprinkling of fresh grated parmesan.