This was one of those weeks where life got in the way of cooking much of anything. Between spending a full day in the emergency room with my son, following up with an ear, nose and throat doc who informed my happy 16 year old that he'll probably have to get his tonsils out, our elderly cat disappearing, as well as various other commitments, this flavorful and spicy Guinness Chicken Stew from Saint Vincent and The Grenadines had to go on the way back burner. But now it's Sunday and I'm not letting another thing get between me and my kitchen. Peace at last.
Cuisine in Saint Vincent and The Grenadines is generally hot and spicy. Meat stews, curries, shellfish, pickled and salted fish fish are typical to island cooking. Cassava, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions and bread fruit are staples as well. One of the island's specialties is Callaloo, a dish that is cooked with spinach or dasheen leaves and coconut milk. Arrow root, a thickening agent used in soups, stews and gravies is grown on the island, as well as a wide variety of tropical fruits such as bananas, citrus, mangoes, papayas and one of my favorites, passion fruit.
Guinness Bottle Chicken Stew (Recipe Adapted from Caribbean Choice)
2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 10 oz. can or bottle of Guinness Stout beer
1 cup chicken broth
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp. chilli powder
Combine flour, salt and pepper on a plate or paper bag. Toss cubed chicken to coat.
In a large pot, heat oil, then add chicken and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
Pour off oil until about 2 Tbsp. remains, then add onion and garlic and saute for 4 mintutes.
Add Guinness, then reduce by half, then return chicken.
Add broth, tomato paste, peppers, parsley and chilli powder.
Let simmer covered for about 15 minutes.
Serve over rice.
Final Assessment: This was a wonderfully satisfying and easy to make dish. The addition of Guinness gave the stew a rich, full-bodied flavor with a great kick from the chilli powder. Served over a bed of rice with a nice cold beer, this a perfect lunch.
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