This is really two recipes in one. The Rice N Peas comes from years of learned experience perfecting my ex-husband’s cravings and getting the beans/coconut/rice ratios just right, and the curry chicken is mostly from a Christmas party dish that someone was willing and kind enough to share with me – along with the secret to Christmas Bun- but that’s an entirely different story! The rice N peas recipe seems to make people happy just by itself, but I always serve it with either this Jamaican Curry Chicken, or a Jamaican Curry Goat recipe. I made it again for a Thanksgiving Potluck at work this year – so I thought I’d share the recipe
Rice N Peas
- 1 nice/generous bunch of spring/green onions, keeping all of the parts except the roots, sliced fairly thin
- 1 16 oz can Goya PINK beans – rinsed over and over until only the clean beans are ready to add -you can use pigeon peas instead, which are the poor man’s equivalent for this recipe that I find just as delicious
- 1 can good quality coconut milk – any Thai-style coconut milk is ok – I recommend Chaokoh or Goya
- 3 cans water
- 2 tsp salt
- 7-8 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 3 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed 3 times
- 2lbs cut chicken, skin removed. You can use full pieces such as breast/wing, etc, but I chop all the pieces into ~2 inch size, bones and all. You could also use boneless skinless meat for this
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 3 TBSP Badia or McCormick Curry Powder (not madras style, just plain curry powder – the dominant spices are coriander, cumin and fenugreek – there is no heat in this curry powder- add your own chilis to taste)
- 4 TBSP garlic ginger paste (at the bottom of THIS PAGE)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 bunches green onion, finely chopped
- 1 large green apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 3 large potatoes, washed and cut to 1 inch chunks
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
- 2 cups of water
To make the rice ‘n peas, combined the rinsed beans, coconut milk, green onions, salt and one can of water in a large tightly covered cooking pot. Cook the beans in the mixture for 20 minutes, covered, on medium low heat (a good simmer). In the meanwhile, rinse your rice 5-6 times draining well each time, and set aside. Stir the cooked beans, add water and stir again, then add the rinsed rice and thyme sprigs (or dried thyme). Stir very briefly just to combine, then place the pan on the burner and shimmy it back and forth quickly to evenly distribute the rice throughout the pan. Cover tightly, bring to boil on medium high heat, and as soon as it is boiling well, turn the heat down to a very slow simmer, and allow to steam to doneness – about 30 minutes.
I usually start the curry chicken once I have the rice n’ peas on the burner. Use the salt and pepper to season the chicken, and then quickly brown just the edges over medium high heat in the oil – I use a wok-style pan for this. Remove the chicken to a bowl, reserving the oil in the pan, and add the curry powder over the heat to toast it just until fragrant (don’t fry it to darken the color). Add the ginger-garlic paste and again, cook just until the raw bite is gone, don’t brown. Add the onions and green onions and apple, and cover tightly, turn the heat to medium low, and saute/simmer for about 5-6 minutes until everything is soft. Now add the potatoes, jalapenos, reserved chicken, and the water. Cover the pan tightly and cook over medium low heat about 30 minutes – it may take a little longer if your heat is too low, but you don’t want to use too high of a heat as it will dry out any breast meat you’ve used. The chicken should be separating easily from the bones, the potatoes should be soft, and the curry should be a thin gravy consistency.
This recipe makes enough easily for 6 people or more – I get rave reviews every time I make it.