Thursday, December 12, 2013

Haitian Chicken

This is a dish I learned from my dad years ago. I love to make it during the colder months of the year, which is kind of interesting given that Haiti is pretty much never very cold. As in, at all.

Anyway, the mise en place: chicken pieces, celery, onion, green pepper, garlic, limes, butter, tomatoes (I almost always use canned), tomato paste, chicken stock (I'll make some up from chicken base this time), soy sauce, sugar, and salt.

First, squeeze the limes and marinate the chicken in the juice with a bit of salt for a while.

Then chop up the vegetables....

And sear the chicken pieces in the butter and a little oil. You might have to do this in batches (I typically do).

Note the crusty bits on the bottom of the pot. Those are magic.

Remove the chicken and keep it warm, and allow the pot to cool down a bit while you make yourself a nice cocktail.

That's a Cape Cod, of course - pictured just before the lime was squeezed into it and a nice stir stick added for effect. (It's not for me. I don't really care for cranberry juice. It was requested by Susan, and who am I to deny her anything?)

Now we'll cook the vegetables down a bit in the remaining butter and oil, with the rendered chicken fat. When they're about done, we'll add the tomato paste.

Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, soy sauc, and sugar, and add the chicken back to the pot. Give it all a good stir and bring it up to a gentle simmer.

Cover the pot and let the chicken simmer gently for about an hour. Or maybe three.

Yes, I know this photo isn't that interesting. Sorry, but that's what it looks like.

After it's simmered for a while, remove the cover, increase the heat a bit, and let the liquid gently boil down a bit. This is what you're looking for:

Note how the meat has pulled back from the bone a bit and the broth has taken on a slightly richer color.

Here it is plated,over rice. You'll want to have some Tabasco sauce on the side with this.


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