Spicy Caribbean Chicken Stew with Chayote
This Caribbean chicken stew is spicy but also rounded out with plenty of chicken flavor and chayote gourd. Chayote is a gourd often used in Caribbean and Mexican cooking. It is also known as chocho or vegetable pear. Male chayotes have prickly skin but females are smooth. You can find chayotes in many mainstream grocery stores in the produce section today, especially if you live in an area with a large Hispanic population. If they do not carry them, you may have better luck at a specialty or ethnic grocery store.
Chayotes taste similar but the female is easier to peel. Choose chayotes that are blemish-free and firm. This Caribbean chicken stew is spiced up with a habanero pepper. You can use jalapeño if you want your chicken stew to be milder or just use less habanero. This stew gets better the longer it sits, so feel free to make it ahead of time. This is a good choice for the crockpot as the flavors blend and intensifies the longer it simmers.
The potatoes add texture and will soak up the flavors of the rest of the ingredients, making them an important part of this chicken stew. You may think the vinegar is an odd ingredient, but that little bit of acidity really brightens the flavor of the ingredients and adds depth to the overall flavor of the stew. Serve this chicken stew as a nice lunch or dinner. Leftovers are easy to warm up and eat whenever you need a snack.
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 1 russet potato, diced
- 1 chayote, pitted and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
- 1 medium habanero pepper, stemmed and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 lbs chicken thighs and legs, washed, and patted dry
- ½ white onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Mix the allspice, salt, pepper and curry powder well.
- Rub half this mixture over the chicken and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a 3-quart Dutch oven or large, heavy pot over a medium heat.
- Add the rest of the spice mixture when the oil is hot and also the garlic, onion and pepper.
- Cook until the vegetables are starting to soften and the curry is fragrant and brown.
- This will take about 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken and brown all over.
- This should take 5 minutes per side.
- Add everything else except the vinegar and simmer until the vegetables can be easily pierced with a knife and the chicken is tender and cooked through.
- This will take about 30 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar and serve.
This Caribbean chicken stew may look unassuming, but it packs a nice punch thanks to the curry and the habanero pepper in the recipe. If you like spicy meals, you have to try this one. It is perfect as a meal in its own right, either for lunch or dinner. Serve it with a light salad or some bread to make sure you get every drop. This recipe is a great way to spice up your menu. Everyone gets in a rut once in awhile with the same old recipes; this one is guaranteed to liven things up for you.
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