This Grenadian chicken stew is made with bone in chicken legs, vegetables and lots of flavorful spice. It’s the perfect Caribbean chicken dish.
If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed over Thanksgiving I set off with Gina and traveled to Grenada for the Pure Grenada Nutmeg Festival. While we were there we soaked up the sun, enjoyed the warmth and ate our nutmeg loving hearts out.
We spent lazy mornings cooking breakfast in our open air cottage, afternoons sitting on the beach talking about how much we loved the sun and the evenings eating till we could eat no more. So many desserts were consumed in 2 weeks. I wish I had taken a log of all the sweet treats we consumed. It would have been amazing to look back on.
However, one breezy day our Grenadian friend Jen picked us up and invited us to spend the day with her family. We all went grocery shopping together and then headed to her house to try our hands at some traditional Grenadian cooking. Her lovely husband Christopher walked us through exactly how he prepared his chicken stew and what it is about each ingredient that makes it so special.
Christopher started off by letting us both know that Grenadians are obsessed with keeping a kitchen clean and washing their hands while cooking. Heck yes. Apparently Christopher grew up without refrigeration for a portion of this life so he learned exactly how to prepare food so it tasted delicious and (most importantly) wouldn’t make you sick.
He showed us a little secret to cooking with chicken – rinse it with lime water. I had never seen this done before but now I’m obsessed! Not only does that lime water help with bacteria but I love the little acid hit it gives to the chicken before it hits the stew pot.
He then cut up some fresh vegetables (onions, peppers and carrots) and spices and stirred it all together. The most interesting part of his this dish was when I watched him pour sugar onto the bottom of the stew pot. Instinctually he knew just the right amount of sugar and how long it would take to go from sugar to beautiful dark amber in color. At that moment he poured in the chicken, added some water and waited for time to do it’s magic.
The part I enjoyed most was the love of the day. I quietly moved around kitchen taking pictures of Christopher cooking and in the next room over listen to Jen and her daughter laugh as they decorated their Christmas tree. It made me miss home. It made me miss being in the kitchen with my mom and sharing our love for cooking secret family recipes. I watched Christopher lift the lid off the chicken and know just from years of experience exactly how long it would take before it was perfect. He stirred the callaloo and mashed the pumpkin. It was as if these skills had been ingrained in him since the day he was born.
After it was ready we all sat together at the family dinner table and feasted. Even though I wasn’t part of their family I felt like they had opened the door and welcomed me with open arms. And after a few nips of rum and 2 helpings of chicken stew I was officially stuffed.
Even though I adored the food one of my favorite parts was after dinner when Jen invited me to join her for a walk. She promised she was going to take me somewhere amazing and she did not disappoint. To this day I will hands down say that Fort Jeudy is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. If I could go back there right now I would.
In a heartbeat.
We walked down a little path that was covered with tall grass and little baby cacti. At first I was worried this would be a crazy hard hike that I wouldn’t be able to do. Then I heard the ocean. I got closer and was rewarded with a salty breeze and beautiful blue water. I of course couldn’t resist snapping a few pictures of the beautiful sites.
It was pure breezy ocean filled heaven.
Even though Grenada was heaven I did eventually have to go home. It’s the down side of traveling, I know. However, after I got home I couldn’t stop thinking about the chicken stew I had in Jennifer and Christopher’s home. I had to make it.
I kept the basics of what he taught me but changed a few little things just to give it my own personal spin. This dish is best served over rice but I will admit that I’m happy to eat it plain from the pan.
If you’re wondering what else I spent my time doing in Grenada you’re in luck! Coming up later this month I dive into all the food we devoured and share even more about this fantastic little island.
Grenadian Chicken Stew
This Grenadian chicken stew is made with bone in chicken legs, vegetables and lots of flavorful spice. It's the perfect Caribbean chicken dish.
Yield: 2-4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 65 minutes
Total Time: 80 minutes
- 6 chicken legs, skin removed
- 3 carrots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2-3 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for topping (optional)
Adapted from Christopher
In a large bowl add chicken, carrots, garlic, onion and bell pepper. Mix together.
Sprinkle on curry powder, smoked paprika, oregano, kosher salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat the whole mixture in seasoning.
In a large pan (I used my 3.5 quart braiser pan) add sugar over medium high heat. Keep an eye on the sugar and watch it start to melt and slowly turn from clear to golden brown to dark amber brown. You have to keep your eye on the sugar as it can go from perfectly caramelized to burnt in a few seconds.
Once the sugar is dark amber in color (think the color of maple syrup) add in the chicken and just enough chicken stock to reach the top of the chicken without totally covering it.
Stir in ketchup, cover with a lid and let simmer over medium heat until the chicken is fall off the bone tender and fully cooked, about an hour. The mixture will cook down so if it starts to get dry and the chicken is not fully cooked simply add a little more stock.
Once full cooked sprinkle with cilantro and serve plain or overtop rice.
Disclosure: I teamed up with Pure Grenada to attend the Pure Grenada Nutmeg Festival free of charge and was paid for my time in Grenada. As always, all opinions and thoughts are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me as I continue to work with brands I love.