Monthly Archives: May 2013

Pone… Cassava and Coconut Pone

Cassava Pone

Last weekend, I picked up about 2 lbs of cassava (yuca) from H-Mart (Asian supermarket). My intentions were to make cassava ball and maybe try making some metemgee (I know, I know… the metemgee recipe is long overdue). I started peeling the cassava and started thinking about cassava pone. Once I mentioned it to my hubby and mother-in-law, I knew I would be making pone.

If I had to describe pone, I would say that it is like a crustless pie or a soft, flourless sweet bread. When I googled pone, I found out that it originally referred to a Native American dish of flat cornmeal cakes baked in ashes. I started to wonder if pone is an Amerindian (Indigenous Guyanese) dish and whether it originated from similar beginnings! Perhaps they substituted cornmeal for cassava because cassava grows in abundance in Guyana. I’ll keep digging. Someone, somewhere has to have a story to tell about how we started making pone (smile).

Now for this quick and easy pone recipe. I promise it’s really simple, but it takes about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours to bake so allow yourself time for that.

For this recipe I'm using 1lb cassava (peeled and cubed) and 2 cups of shredded coconut.

For this recipe I’m using 1lb cassava (peeled and cubed) and 2 cups of shredded coconut.

I ground/processed the cassava in a food processor until it was a fine paste-like consistency.

I ground/processed the cassava in a food processor until it was a fine paste-like consistency. Traditionally you would grate the cassava with the fine side of a grater. Thank God for modern technology!

I am using store bought coconut flakes so I processed that in the food processor until it was really fine.

I am using store bought coconut flakes so I processed that in the food processor until it was really fine.

Combine the processed cassava and coconut in a mixing bow. Then add, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, about 1 tbsp grated nutmeg, 2tbsp butter and 1 tsp vanilla essence. Mix together well.  Then add 1/4 cup of water until it form a soft batter.

Combine the processed cassava and coconut in a mixing bow.
Then add, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp grated nutmeg, 2tbsp butter and 1 tsp vanilla essence.
Mix together well, then add 1/4 cup of water until it form a soft batter.

Place mixture into a greased baking pan. Make sure mixture is no more than 1 inch thick.

Place mixture into a greased baking pan. Make sure mixture is no more than 1 inch thick.

When pone is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool.

When pone is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool.

When cool cut into squares and enjoy.

Once cooled, cut into squares and enjoy.

Stacked squares of Cassava Pone

Stacked squares of Cassava Pone

Cassava and Coconut Pone* (Makes 9 servings)

Ingredients:
1 lb cassava (peeled and diced)
2 cups of shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add cassava to a food processor and process until it forms a fine paste-like consistency. Then, process coconut flakes in the food processor until fine. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cassava, coconut, brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, all spice and vanilla essence. Mix together, then add water. Continue to mix until a soft batter is formed. Place batter into a greased baking dish (batter should be no more that 1 inch thick) and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until pone is golden brown in color. Remove from oven and let cool. Once pone cools, cut into 9 squares. Enjoy with some mauby, sorrel or ginger beer.

*Recipe a modified version of the Cassava pone recipe found in Caribbean Cuisine by Dr. Betty “K.”

Tips and Ramblings:
1. If you don’t have a food processor feel free to grate your cassava. Just don’t cut it into cubes first.
2. I rarely get fresh coconuts where I live so I have to improvise.
3. Originally I thought the pan was too big for the pone I was making but the pone was about 1/2 inch in thickness and had the right about of crunch to it. Next time I will try putting it into a loaf pan.
4. These were devoured the minute I was done taking the pictures and they were so delicious.

If you try a recipe, leave and message and let me know how it came out. Also let me know if you added or took away anything, maybe I can try it your way! Follow me on instagram @metemgeeblog or check out my youtube metemgeeblog.

And as always,
Happy Cooking!

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Vegetarian Side Dish… Katahar Curry

Katahar Curry

Katahar is a relative to the Jack Fruit family. In fact, many mistake it for jack fruit. The young/green katahar is usually cooked in a coconut curry broth. The mature/ripe katahar is used only for its seeds, that are boiled and eaten as a nutty, meaty snack.

Before I made this dish, I hadn’t eaten katahar in over 13 years. Every time I visited Guyana it was not in season. When I lived in New York, I rarely longed for Guyanese food because it was so readily available. A few weeks ago while visiting my mom, we went shopping in little Guyana and what did I see on a vegetable stand on Liberty Avenue? Katahar of course. So I bought two katahar/s, packed them in my suitcase and brought them to Denver.

I should state as a disclaimer that katahar is quite time consuming to cook, from peeling, to the actually cooking, it takes like 2 to 3 hours, if you’re lucky. So I let the katahar sit in my refrigerator for almost 3 weeks, putting off cooking it every time I saw it in the fridge. Sadly, when I finally decided to cook it, one of them was completely rotten and the other one was salvageable but a bit brown.

 

Now for this dish…

First, you will need to peel off the tough green skin from the Katahar. Then, separate the "flesh" from the seeds/nuts. Next, you must remove the outer shell from the seeds. Finally, I shredded the flesh in to tiny strips and cut the seeds/nuts into halves.

First, you will need to peel off the tough green skin from the Katahar.
Then, separate the “flesh” from the seeds/nuts.
Next, you must remove the outer shell from the seeds.
Finally, I shredded the flesh into tiny strips and cut the seeds/nuts into halves.

Now for the curry…

Prepare a curry paste I added 1 onion, 6 cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp water to the food processor and blended until finely chopped.  Then, I combined 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp geera (ground roasted cumin), 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tbsp curry powder, and 1 tsp salt. Mixed it together to form a curry paste.

Prepare a curry paste!
I added 1 onion, 6 cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp water to the food processor and blended until finely chopped.
Then, I combined 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp geera (ground roasted cumin), 1 tsp garam masala, 2 tbsp curry powder, and 1 tsp salt.
I mixed it together to form a curry paste.

Cook curry paste in a pressure cooker on medium heat, with about 3 tbsp of oil.

Cook curry paste in a pressure cooker (without the lid on, just like you would a sauce pot) on medium heat, with about 3 tbsp of oil.

When most of the liquids have evaporated from the paste and the curry almost brown in color, add the katahar.

When most of the liquids have evaporated from the paste and the curry is almost brown in color, add the katahar.

Add 5 cups of water and pressure cook until flesh and nut are tender (melts in your mouth tender).

Add 5 cups of water and pressure cook until flesh and nut are tender (melts in your mouth tender).

Once the katahar cooks, add 2 cups coconut milk and reduce heat. Let simmer (without pressure lid on) until broth thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Once the katahar cooks, add 2 cups coconut milk and salt to taste. Then, reduce heat. Let simmer (without pressure lid on) until broth thickens, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Katahar curry is best enjoyed with white rice!

Katahar curry is best enjoyed with white rice!

Katahar Curry (Makes 6 servings)

Ingredients:
1 medium katahar (peeled and prepared)
1 onion
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp geera
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
2 cups coconut milk
5 cups water (for pressure cooking)

Directions:
Peel and separate katahar flesh and nuts/seeds. Peel nuts and cut into halves. Shred flesh into tiny strips.
Prepare a curry paste by combining onion and garlic in a food processor with about 2 tbsp water. Add curry powder, granulated garlic, geera, salt and garam masala to processed onion and garlic. Add oil to a pressure cooker on medium heat, with lid off. When oil is hot, add curry paste. Saute curry paste until the liquid evaporated and curry is almost brown in color. Then, add katahar, followed by water. Increase heat to high, add lid and pressure cook until flesh and seeds are tender. When katahar is fully cooked add coconut milk and a bit more salt to taste (of needed). Reduce heat and let simmer until curry broth thickens.

Tips and Ramblings:

1. You can peel and prepare the katahar overnight. It took me about an hour to peel the little katahar I had.
2. You can add more spices or pepper to the curry paste. I have a pretty good curry powder that has loads of spices so I often don’t add anything else to my curry paste.
3. I didn’t want the curry to lose the richness of the coconut milk, through the pressure cooking so I chose to add the coconut milk towards the end as a thickening agent.
4. I had to check my pressure cooker 3 times and add a bit more water before the katahar was fully cooked. It pressure cooked for like an hour.
5. Logic tells me this would be a great slow cooker dish, so next time I am fortunate to come across katahar I will try it in the slow cooker. Of course I also need to buy a slow cooker, first. (smile)

Happy Cooking!

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Tilapia Scampi… versus Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp and Tilapia ScampiI made shrimp and tilapia scampi a few nights ago and it was so quick and easy and delicious, I thought I would share. I really should have made this one of my dinner in 30 meals, but you get the idea.

I was out running errands all day, got home and realized, I didn’t defrost any meat, and wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make for dinner. Home delivery in my neighborhood is Chinese food, Chinese food and Pizza. I didn’t want any of that. First I though, I guess it’s vegetarian night… I’ll just cook up something quick. But it was the night before I started my month long, no carbs, clean eating diet and I wanted to be a bit bad! I know, I know. Don’t judge me. So I went to the freezer and the shrimp was staring at me. I knew it wouldn’t take long to defrost so I grabbed it. I knew I would make shrimp scampi for my husband, but what would I could for myself, since I don’t eat shrimp. And then the cliched light bulb went off. Tilapia Scampi. I made shrimp scampi the way I always do… my variation of a food network recipe. I followed the same recipe for the tilapia, with one exception, I added some pesto for additional flavor.

I hope you try these two simple recipes the next time you make pasta!

Now for the Tilapia Scampi…

I followed instructions on the pack and cooked the pasta. This is about 1/3 of one packet of pasta (I didn't want to have leftovers).

I followed instructions on the pack and cooked the pasta. This is about 1/3 of one packet of pasta (I didn’t want to have leftovers).

I seasoned the tilapia with salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

I seasoned the tilapia with salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

I then cut the tilapia into quarters, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion and two roma tomatoes.

I then cut the tilapia into quarters, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion and two roma tomatoes.

In a medium suace/saute pan on high heat warm 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Cook, onions, garlic and tomatoes until soft. When cooked, add 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup of sweet white wine and 1 tbsp pesto (I had store bought pesto).

In a medium suace/saute pan on high heat warm 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add onions, then garlic and tomatoes.
Reduce heat to medium  and cook, until tomatoes are soft (about53 minutes).
Then, add 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup of sweet white wine and 1 tbsp pesto (I had store bought pesto). Feel free to add a pinch of salt if needed. Cook down until a semi thick sauce forms.

Add Tilapia Pieces to sauce. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes.

Add Tilapia Pieces to sauce. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes, until tilapia is cooked and nice and flaky.

Add cooked pasta. Toss together and remove from heat.

Add cooked pasta. Toss together and remove from heat. Be careful not crush up the fish when tossing the pasta.

Tilapia Scampi

Tilapia Scampi

 

Tilapia Scampi (makes 2 servings)

1/3 pack of thin spaghetti
4 cups of water (for cooking spaghetti)
1 tbsp salt (for pasta water)
2 Tilapia filets
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 roma tomatoes diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp parsley flakes
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sweet white wine
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp pesto (I used store bought, premade pesto)

Directions:
Cook pasta according to instructions on the box.
Season tilapia with lemon juice, granulated garlic, cayenne pepper and oregano, then cut into quarters. In a medium sauce/saute pan warm olive oil on high heat. When oil is hot cook onions and garlic. When onions are brown and soft, add diced tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until tomatoes are soft, then add wine, pesto and butter. Cook until sauce is semi thick, then add seasoned fish to the sauce. Cover and let tilapia cook for about 3 minutes on each side, coating with sauce. Add cooked pasta, toss together and remove from heat.


Tips and Rambling

1. This makes 2 generous servings, but I only added 1/3 of the pasta to my sauce, because I just didn’t want that much pasta.
2. It’s a good idea to cook the sauce while the pasta is boiling so that the pasta and the sauce finish cooking at the same time. This way you won’t have clammy pasta.
3. Always add a generous amount of salt to the water (like sea water), so that the pasta will not taste bland.
4. You can check to see if the tilapia is fully cooked by flaking the flesh with a fork. If it’s white, tender and flaky, it’s done. If tough and pink, it needs to be cooked some more.

Happy Cooking!

 

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Shrimp Scampi… versus Tilapia Scampi

Shrimp and Tilapia Scampi

I made shrimp and tilapia scampi a few nights ago and it was so quick and easy and delicious, I thought I would share. I really should have made this one of my dinner in 30 meals, but you get the idea.

I was out running errands all day, got home and realized, I didn’t defrost any meat, and wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make for dinner. Home delivery in my neighborhood is  Chinese food, Chinese food and Pizza. I didn’t want any of that. First I though, I guess it’s vegetarian night… I’ll just cook up something quick. But it was the night before I started my month long, no carbs, clean eating diet and I wanted to be a bit bad! I know, I know. Don’t judge me. So I went to the freezer and the shrimp was staring at me. I knew it wouldn’t take long to defrost so I grabbed it. I knew I would make shrimp scampi for my husband, but what would I could for myself, since I don’t eat shrimp. And then the cliched light bulb went off. Tilapia Scampi. I made shrimp scampi the way I always do… my variation of a food network recipe. I followed the same recipe for the tilapia, with one exception, I added some pesto for additional flavor.

I hope you try these two simple recipes the next time you make pasta!

Now for the Shrimp Scampi…

I followed instructions on the pack and cooked the pasta. This is about 1/3 of one packet of pasta (I didn't want to have leftovers).

I followed instructions on the pack and cooked the pasta. This is about 1/3 of one packet of thin spaghetti (I didn’t want to have leftovers).

While the pasta was cooking, I seasoned the shrimp (they were already peeled and deveined with the skin on). To season the shrimp I used, a pinch of salt, a pinch of cayenne powder, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp dried oregano and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.  Let that sit for about 10 minutes.

While the pasta was cooking, I seasoned the shrimp (they were already peeled and deveined with the tail on).
To season the shrimp I used, a pinch of salt, a pinch of cayenne powder, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp dried oregano and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.
Let that sit for about 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan on high heat, warm 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  When oil is hot, add seasoned shrimp and cook on each side for about 1 minute (until each side is a light pink color). Remove from heat and reserve.

In a medium saucepan on high heat, warm 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
When oil is hot, add seasoned shrimp and cook on each side for about 1 minute (until each side is a light pink color).
Remove from heat and reserve.

Using the same saute pan, on medium heat, cook 1/2 diced onions and 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, in a dash of olive oil.  When onions are brown and soft, add 2 diced roma tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tsp parsley flakes. Cook until tomatoes are soft, then add 1/2 cup sweet white wine and 1 tbsp butter. Add shrimp and cook for 2 to 4 minutes.

Using the same saute pan, on medium heat, cook 1/2 diced onions and 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, in a dash of olive oil.
When onions are brown and soft, add 2 diced roma tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tsp parsley flakes. Cook until tomatoes are soft, then add 1/2 cup sweet white wine and 1 tbsp butter. Add shrimp and cook for 2 to 4 minutes.

Add cooked pasta to shrimp sauce.

Add cooked pasta to shrimp sauce.

Toss together, remove from heat and enjoy.

Toss together, remove from heat and enjoy.

Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi (Makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:
1/3 pack of thin spaghetti
4 cups of water (for cooking spaghetti)
1 tbsp salt (for pasta water)
About 16 pieces of large shrimp (deveined, peeled, tail on)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 roma tomatoes diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp parsley flakes
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sweet white wine
1 tbsp butter

Directions:
Cook pasta according to instructions on the box.
Season shrimp with lemon juice, granulated garlic, cayenne pepper and oregano. In a medium sauce/saute pan warm olive oil on high heat. When oil is hot add seasoned shrimp, cook on each side for about 1 minute, then remove from heat and set aside. In the same sauce/saute pan cook onions and garlic. When onions are brown and soft, add diced tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt and add parsley flakes. Cook until tomatoes are soft, then add wine and butter. Cook for another minute, then add shrimp back to the sauce. Cook for about 3 minutes, coating shrimp with sauce. Add cooked pasta, toss together and remove from heat.

Tips and Rambling

1. This made 2 generous servings.
2. It’s a good idea to cook the sauce while the pasta is boiling so that the pasta and the sauce finish cooking at the same time. This way you won’t have clammy pasta.
3. Always add a generous amount of salt to the water (like sea water), so that the pasta will not taste bland.
4. My husband’s comment when eating dinner was: “You sure know how to cook shrimp, for someone who’s never tasted it.” Ha ha. I love this man!

Happy Cooking!

Custard Block… Frozen Vanilla Custard

Custard blockCustard block, is simply frozen Guyanese vanilla custard.  Traditionally it is made with milk, sugar and Bird’s custard powder. I didn’t have any Bird’s custard powder, so I decided to make my custard using the same recipe I use for baked custard but tweaking it a bit. And what do you know, it was amazing and delicious and better tasting than when I do use the Bird’s custard powder.

For this recipe you will need the following…

2 cans evaporated milk 1 can condensed milk 6 eggs (not pictured) 1 tsp french vanilla essence 1 tsp nutmeg A bowl or ice pop mold, to set the custard.

2 cans evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
6 eggs (not pictured)
1 tsp french vanilla essence
1 tsp nutmeg
A large bowl or ice pop mold, to set the custard.

Combine Evaporated milk and condensed milk in a medium saucepan.

Combine Evaporated milk and condensed milk in a medium saucepan.

Bring combined milk to a boil on high heat.

Bring combined milk to a boil on high heat. Once boiling remove from heat.

Whisk eggs in a small bowl until fluffy.

Whisk together eggs in a small bowl until fluffy.

Temper milk into eggs by adding warm milk, 1/2 cup at a time to the whisked eggs until all is combined.

Temper milk into eggs by adding warm milk, 1/2 cup at a time to the whisked eggs until all the milk is combined with the eggs.

Return egg and milk mixture to the saucepan. Add 1 tsp french vanilla essence and 1 tsp grated nutmeg. Whisk and return to the heat.  The next step happens quickly so be very careful or you'll have scrambled eggs.  Keep whisking mixture while on the heat until it bubbles (boils a little).  At the sign of the first bubble remove from heat.

Return egg and milk mixture to the saucepan.
Add 1 tsp french vanilla essence and 1 tsp grated nutmeg. Whisk and return to the heat.
The next step happens quickly so be very careful or you’ll have scrambled eggs!
Keep whisking mixture while on the heat until it bubbles (boils a little).
At the sign of the first bubble remove from heat.

Custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not too thick.  I poured my custard into a measuring cup for easy pouring.

Custard should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not too thick.
I poured my custard into a measuring cup for easy pouring.

Pour custard into a large bowl or ice pop molds.  I got my mold from Target online for about $12.00

Pour custard into a large bowl or ice pop molds.
I got my mold from Target online for about $12.00

Cover and freeze until completely set. About 2 hours.

Cover and place in the freezer until completely set. About 2 hours.

Remove from mold, once completely set and enjoy. I had to wet my mold with some warm water before removing.

Remove from mold, once completely set and enjoy. I had to wet my mold with some warm water before removing.

Custard Block… Frozen vanilla custard (makes about 1 1/2 dozens ice cream bars)

Ingredients:
2 cans evaporated milk
1 can condensed milk
6 eggs
1 tsp french vanilla essence
1 tsp grated nutmeg

Directions:

Combine evaporated and condensed milk in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil on medium heat, then remove from heat once boiling. Whisk together eggs in a small mixing bowl. Temper milk into eggs by adding warm milk 1/2 cup at a time to the whisked eggs, until all of the milk is combined with the eggs. This prevents the eggs from cooking in the warm milk. Return milk and eggs mixture to the saucepan. Add vanilla essence and nutmeg and whisk together. Return to the heat, constantly whisking until mixture starts to bubble. At the sign of the first bubble remove from the heat, or you will end up with a thick scrambled eggs mixture. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not too thick. Pour custard into ice pop molds or a large bowl. Place in the freezer until it sets (about 2 hours).

Tips and Ramblings:
1. You can buy ice pop molds for about $12.00 from stores like Target and Walmart. Since it’s almost summer, you can find them almost anywhere.
2. I did not use any Bird’s custard powder in this recipe but trust me, it is more delicious that if I did.
3. The condense milk and evaporated milk gives the custard a really rich taste, but of course you can try with regular milk and sugar. It would be about 4 cups of milk and 1 1/2 cups of sugar.
4. Once the custard block sets, I wet the mold with warm water, to make it easier for the bars to slide out of the mold.
5. These were so good, I wanted to eat all of them, all at once.

Happy Cooking!

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Chicken Stew… Brown Stew Chicken

Chicken Stew

It feels like it’s been ages since I promised you this recipe… I took a little unintended break from the blog. Life just got a bit hectic and at night when I had a few minutes to spare all I wanted to do was sleep.

A few weeks ago, we took a little impromptu trip to visit my folks in New York and I was in complete relax mode while there, since my mom was doing everything for my 10 month old (love that woman). When we got back my little pumpkin got a nasty bug and was sick for a few days which was exhausting. He then gave the bug to my hubby, who gave it to me, and sadly I gave it back to my pumpkin. We are all much better now, thank God.  So, I am playing catch up. Hope you guys can forgive me ;-). Thanks to all of you who reached out in email or on instagram to ask, what’s up with the blog!? It really made my day.

Now for this chicken stew recipe. Almost every Guyanese person I know, knows how to make chicken stew or stew chicken, however you choose to say it. So why am I posting a recipe for chicken stew you ask? Well, this one has a delicious twist, plus there might be a non-Guyanese person interested in the deliciousness that is a great Guyanese chicken stew :-).

Let’s get to it…

You'll need about 2lbs of chicken. I am using bone in, skinless thighs.  I chopped the thighs into halves and seasoned with a dry rub over night.  The dry rub included: 1 tbsp dried onions, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.

You’ll need about 2lbs of chicken.
I am using bone in, skinless thighs.
I chopped the thighs into halves and seasoned with a dry rub over night. You can leave your chicken things whole if you prefer.
The dry rub included: 1 tbsp dried onions, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and 2 tsp salt.

About 15 minutes before I was ready to start making the stew, I added 1 tbsp cassareep and 1 tsp spicy brown mustard to the seasoned chicken.

About 15 minutes before I was ready to start making the stew, I added 1 tbsp cassareep and 1 tsp spicy brown mustard to the seasoned chicken.

Now to start the cooking…

In a large pot, sautee 1 large onion (chopped) and 6 cloves of garlic (chopped), in about 2 tbsp oil on medium heat.  When onions become soft and slightly brown, add 1 cup of diced tomatoes (I am using canned tomatoes for this dish).

In a large pot, sautee 1 large onion (chopped) and 6 cloves of garlic (chopped), in about 2 tbsp oil on medium heat.
When onions become soft and slightly brown, add 1 cup of diced tomatoes (I am using canned tomatoes for this dish).

Add seasoned chicken to the cooked onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Add seasoned chicken to the cooked onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Let chicken and seasoning cook together for about 5 minutes, then add two potatoes, peeled and diced.

Let chicken and seasoning cook together for about 5 minutes, then add two potatoes, peeled and diced.

Pour yourself a glass of white wine... you deserve it.

Pour yourself a glass of white wine… you deserve it.

Pour that wine (about 1 cup) into the stew. Then add 1 tbsp tomato paste. Mix together and let simmer on low heat, until meat and potatoes are fully cooked and tender.

Pour that wine (about 1 cup) into the stew :-).
Then add 1 tbsp tomato paste.
Mix together and let simmer on low heat, until meat and potatoes are fully cooked and tender.

And there you have it lovely, brown chicken stew…

Chicken Stew

Guyanese Style Chicken Stew (Makes 6 generous servings)

Ingredients
2 lbs bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
1 lb potatoes (peeled and cut into quarters)
1 tbsp dried onions
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp cassareep
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 large onions (diced)
6 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 cup of diced tomatoes (about 2 large tomatoes)
About 2 to 3 tsp salt
1 tbsp of tomato paste
2 tbsp oil
1 cup of sweet white wine
about 2 cups of water (if needed)

Directions:
Make a dry rub by combining: dried onions, granulated garlic, thyme, oregano, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and salt. Season chicken overnight with dry rub and place in the refrigerator. Before cooking let chicken sit at room temperature for at least 1/2 hour. Add cassareep and mustard to mixture and let sit for at least 15 minutes before cooking. In a large pot on medium heat, saute diced onions and garlic in hot oil. Let cook until onions become soft and brown. Add tomatoes and continue to cook for about 3 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. Add seasoned chicken and saute to 5 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure even browning of chicken. Add diced potatoes, reduce heat, cover and let cook for about 3 additional minutes. The chicken and potatoes should “spring” their own liquids/juices at this point, if this doesn’t happen you may add 1/2 cup of water to prevent burning. Add wine and tomato paste. Cover pot and continue to cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes and chicken are completely cooked and tender. In some cases you may need to add a cup or two of water or chicken stock, to prevent the stew from become too thick. Once the chicken and potatoes are cooked and the stew simmers to a semi thick consistency, remove from heat and enjoy with some rice or bread.

Tips and ramblings:
1. You may want to start off with 2 tsp of salt and add a bit more if need, as you go along.
2. If the chicken and potatoes finish cooking but the stew is not as thick as you would like, increase the heat and let the gravy cook down.
3. Sometimes potatoes take a long time to cook, in tomato paste, so I let the potatoes cook, then add the tomato paste towards the end.

Happy Cooking!

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