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Cilantro & Garlic Island Chicken

We love this easy and tasty dish that has a definite tropical zing. (We actually adapted the recipe from a classic Trinidadian dish – Chicken Pilau.) It’s a great one-pot meal to fix for a crowd, and you can make it ahead of time – even better! In fact, it’s kind of like good chile or gumbo, in that it’s actually better the next day. Just cool it completely and refrigerate it in the cooking pot, then reheat in a 350 degree oven until it’s good and hot.

Ingredients

To Serve 4 to 6.

1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 pound chicken wings, tips discarded, drumettes and wings separated
1 large onion, chopped
3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and sliced thin
½ cup White Wine Worcestershire Sauce
1 (12-ounce) jar Fredericksburg Farms Guadalupe Valley Cilantro & Garlic Salsa
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 (15-ounce) cans Goya brand pigeon peas and their liquid
3 cups raw white long-grain rice
1 quart chicken stock
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
Thin-sliced green onions

Instructions

Pat the chicken thighs and wings dry using absorbent paper towels. Place the meat in a large non-reactive bowl. Add the onion, jalapeno, White Wine Worcestershire sauce, and the jar of Guadalupe Valley Cilantro & Garlic Salsa. Stir to blend well. Set aside to marinade at room temperature for 2 hours, tightly covered.

Heat the canola oil in a heavy-bottomed 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring often, until the sugar turns a golden caramel color. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade with chef’s tongs and sear them in the hot oil, turning often, until all pieces are well browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Reserve marinade. Add the marinade to the pan and cook until a thick gravy forms, about 15 minutes. Add the pigeon peas, stirring to cook well. Again, cook until liquid is reduced and sauce is thickened. Add the raw rice and chicken stock. Stir the rice into the liquid well. Cover the pan and lower the heat to low. Cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes. Add salt to taste. Stir in the cilantro and serve the dish hot, garnished with a scattering of the thin-sliced green onions.