Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trinidad Stewed Chicken - Caribbean Green Seasoning

Trinidad Stewed Chicken with Trinidad fry rice
Green seasoning is a very popular sauce, used throughout the Caribbean, for all types of meats. It has a wonderfully, unique taste, that cannot be substituted. It's reminds me of salsa verde, but much more complex. Traditionally, you should use fresh herbs, for the green seasoning, but I have used dried herbs, and it was still awesome. This is even better, if you make the green sauce, a day or two ahead, and let it blend in the fridge.
Called browning, caramelized sugar is widely used in Caribbean cooking, and adds yet another distinct flavor. If you try just one Caribbean dish, this would be my pick.

1 cut up chicken
2Tbl. oil
2Tbl. brown sugar
1Tbl. ketchup
1Tbl. soy sauce

For the green seasoning: (Exchange 1tsp.dried herb for 1Tbl. fresh.)
1/2tsp. pureed ginger
1Tbl. minced garlic
ripe hot pepper (1/2 of a scotch bonnet, if you can take the heat, or 2-jalapenos)
1/4cup sliced green onion
1 diced tomato ( I use a green tomato, if possible)
1 rib celery-sliced
1 diced onion- in addition to the green onions 
1Tbl. cilantro
1Tbl. basil
1Tbl. ketchup
1/2tsp. black pepper
1Tbl. vinegar
1Tbl olive oil
shot of spiced rum
a little water if needed
Combine everything in a blender, and pulse several times, to make a coarse sauce. I usually don't need to add water, but if it's too thick to come out of the blender, just add 1or2-Tbl.

Make the green seasoning, pour it into a large dish. Toss the chicken in it, and let it marinate, at least 2 hours. (overnight is better)
Heat a skillet on high heat, add 2Tbl. oil, and 2Tbl. brown sugar, and cook it until the sugar caramelizes, to a  deep golden brown.
Stir in 1Tbl. each of ketchup soy sauce.
Remove the chicken from the green seasoning, shaking off the excess. Reserve the green seasoning.
Add the chicken To the skillet. Turn to coat.
Lower the heat, and simmer, turning often, to keep it from sticking, and the sugar from burning, until, most of the chicken juices have evaporated, and there is a thick sauce in the bottom.
Pour off as much oil, as you can.
Add the reserved green seasoning.
Simmer 30-minutes, turning often. Serve drizzled with the sauce.

Marinate the chicken, in the green seasoning, at least a couple of hours.
Heat 2Tbl. oil and 2Tbl. brown sugar, in a skillet, on high heat.
Whisking constantly, let the sugar become a deep golden brown. It will smoke a bit. Please use caution, the worst burn I ever had, came from caramelized sugar.
Stir in the ketchup, and soy sauce. Add the chicken, and turn to coat. reduce the heat to low, and simmer until most of the juices from the chicken, have evaporated. About 1 hour, or more.
This sauce is a bit deceptive. There is a thick layer of oil, that forms over the top, making it appear that there is still a lot of liquid. When I begin to smell sugar caramelizing again. I remove the pan from the heat, and drain off as much oil as I can. What's left, is a syrupy sauce.
Stir in the reserved green seasoning, and cook an additional 30-minutes, on low heat. It's ready to serve.


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