One of those Jamaican dishes that kids and adults love.
What's spicy, scrumptious, and seems to have a natural affinity for white clothes? Jamaican curry chicken! To be fair, so does curry goat (yes, we eat goat), but we don't cook that as often, so it's not responsible for as many stains.
Part of the fun is in the spiciness, but you can always omit the pepper if want it a bit tamer.
Curry chicken is a main dish primarily for lunch or dinner time, but in recent years it has also become a popular breakfast item at local restaurants.
This is the perfect dish to go with white rice, green bananas (yes, we eat green bananas, boiled), roti, or just about any starchy food.
The gravy is what makes it special to me. When I get that gravy on my rice, I hardly even need meat. And that makes curry chicken one of those Jamaican dishes that can stretch - a small piece of meat with a lot of gravy can go a long way!
It's extra nice when you add potatoes or spinners (small elongated flour dumplings). And if you try it with just a dab of mango chutney - heaven!
3-4 lbs chicken cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chicken or meat seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp pimento (allspice)
4 cloves garlic
2 stalks escallion
2 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp oil
2 cups water
Mix together curry powder, salt, chicken seasoning, black pepper and pimento. Blend together garlic and escallion. Rub all the previous ingredients thoroughly into the chicken, and leave for an hour.
Heat oil and add chicken, turning until the curry powder is cooked. Add 2 cups water. Add potatoes. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until chicken is tender.
If necessary, thicken gravy by adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in a little water (cornstarch will not dissolve if put directly into the hot liquid).
Tip: To cut down on the "raw" smell of the chicken, squeeze a little lime juice into some water and wash chicken before seasoning. Or wipe with vinegar.
Tip: Experiment with different brands of curry powder. There are many different flavours out there.
Of interest: Curry goat is another Jamaican favourite. Many people (especially men) will only eat curry goat if it is cooked using ram goat meat. This has a very distinct flavour (to put it politely), which can be a little too strong for some folks.
As you explore other Jamaican dishes, let your sense of adventure and creativity lead you to add your own twist to our great Jamaican Food.