Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jamaican Chicken Stew



On a cold, wet night this is one of those dishes that can be pulled together so easily.

My first attempt at a similar dish was made after watching Anthony Bourdain exploring the African Bush. He made everything sound so delicious; causing me to rush into the kitchen one Sunday and stewed a pork roast with sweet potatoes. It was fabulous.

As my interest in African cuisine has grown so has my intrique for the subtleties of flavorings that spice these humble dishes. I query every African cook I meet about cooking methods as well as favorite herbs and spices. Methods are familiar and practical!

Yesterday,I found myself behind a man at the check-out lane at my favorite H-Mart. He had placed a few simple ingredients on the conveyor belt. I smiled and politely asked "what was for dinner". He eagerly shared his recipe! Jamaican Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash. "What spices?", I asked. "Only salt".

Never one to leave a recipe alone, I created my own easy recipe that is a variation of fragrant African stews that will satisfy the adventurer in each of us! This is a stew of chicken, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, and plantains with early onion bulbs, cilantro, Jamaican Oxtail seasoning and fresh cumin and coriander and my own dried red pepper. 
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