an adaptation of a recipe from a woman raised in Trinidad. Absolutely delicious and loved by everyone in our house. It’s pronounced to rhyme with pay-NOW
- About 10 pieces of chicken (I used 10 thighs, and used kitchen shears to cut them in half – about 2 1/2-3 lbs)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Fresh ginger (I use one a little larger than a clove of garlic)
- A few shakes Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning to taste
- 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
- Soy sauce (La Choy is GF, so is Braggs Amino Acids, and San-J wheat-free Tamari)
- Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrin’s is GF)
- Your favorite cooking oil
- 2 TBS Brown sugar
- 2 cups rice (parboiled works well)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 can coconut milk (a 14 oz can)
- 1 can black eyed peas, drained & rinsed (pigeon peas are authentic if you can find them)
- Salt to taste
For the marinade:
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Press 3 cloves of garlic and grate 1 garlic-clove-sized piece of ginger
into the chicken. Add onions, seasoning, and enough soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce to fully coat chicken pieces. Mix well, and let stand for 10 minutes.
Pour about 2 TBS of oil in a large nonstick pan and place on high heat (the chicken won’t brown right in a nonstick pan). Add the brown sugar to the oil, spreading it evenly in the oil. Leave on high heat until the sugar starts to turn dark brown, almost black, and starts to bubble. This happens very quickly.
Dump the marinade & chicken into the pan. It splatters, so watch out, you don’t want to burn yourself or others. Let the sugar brown your chicken, stirring occasionally, to ensure that the pieces don’t stick or burn. After the chicken is browned, add a little more seasoning, then turn the heat to medium.
Let chicken cook for 10-15 min, stirring occasionally. Add rice to the pot, and stir until it’s coated with the liquid from the chicken mixture. Let simmer for a couple of minutes.
Add two cups of broth, coconut milk, and drained peas to the mixture, and stir. Add a couple pinches kosher salt to taste. Cover the pot, and let simmer until the rice is cooked, and the liquid has been absorbed from the rice (about 20 minutes). Stir the occasionally, to ensure the rice doesn’t stick.
Once the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed, your pelau is ready. This recipe makes a LOT – more than enough for 5 people to have a hearty meal — and it’s fabulous for leftovers, too.