Trinidad stew chicken recipe – succulent melt in your mouth, flavoursome chicken stewed in a slow cooker. Great for busy weeknights or to simply batch cook.
** STOVE TOP VERSION OF RECIPE IS INCLUDED IN THE POST
I think its high time that I made another Caribbean chicken recipe. This recipe is from Trinidad and Tobago (the clue is in the name). Trinidad stew chicken is packed with true island flavour. Moreover, the meat is so juicy and beyond tender. I promise this Caribbean stew chicken dinner will be on your hit list and great to serve if you’re hosting a party or simply for the family.
Some of my closet family friends hail from sweet T and T (Trinidad and Tobago). Even though Trinidad and Tobago is a Caribbean neighbour of Jamaica, like many islands, they have a unique way of preparing stewed chicken.
In respect to this recipe, Jamaica shares many of the same ingredients excluding the green seasoning and pimento peppers. That’s where you can see a clear distinction in the Trinidadian way of making stewed chicken.
Trinidad stew chicken in a slow cooker
I’ve grown up preparing stewed meat in a dutch pot (dutchie/dutch oven) and while I still fall back on this method for cooking meat dishes I have during the past few years incorporated my crock pot.
I’m a huge fan of making meat dishes in a slow cooker because they really accentuate the flavours. Believe me waiting a minimum of 4 hours for some chicken thighs is well worth the wait in gold.
I’ve made this recipe several times now rotating between conventional cooking and the slow cooker. However,I do enjoy it much more using the latter, so much that I can’t wait to share this wonderful recipe with you.
How to make Trinidad stew chicken
This is made using three main steps – prep (adding the ingredients to the meat to marinate), searing and cooking the meat.
Preparing the meat to marinate – Typically chicken pieces are used but I like to use chicken thighs. What I do is trim most of the fat from the thighs so there’s an even balance of fat with lean meat.
If you want leaner meat then simply cut all of the skin from the thighs. Ideally, you want chicken that’s on the bone so it doesn’t fall apart. On the bone chicken really works best with this slow cooker recipe.
You will need to use your hands to work the main ingredients into the meat. It may seem like a lot but it will result in flavoursome food. The meat needs to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight preferably.
Forming the browning – The meat needs to be browned with caramelised sugar. The oil is first added to a heated skillet and then the sugar is sprinkled onto the pan. After a few minutes the sugar becomes a syrup. That’s when you add the chicken to the pan
DON’T let the sugar burn or it will taste bitter, it’s very very important that you follow the above step carefully.
Searing the meat – The chicken will brown somewhat thanks to the caramelised sugar. It takes about 15 minutes to seal and darken so make sure each side is seared.
Because I removed most of the fat my meat didn’t sear as much as it could do. If you are working with leaner meat, don’t be alarm if it doesn’t darken much, that’s normal.
Cover the skillet with a lid to seal in the heat. The meat will form it’s own juices, normally I would increase the heat to high to cook the liquid off but this extra meat juice is beneficial to our slow cooking process.
Slow cooking the chicken – Once the meat is brown transfer it into the slow cooker. I add the water with the residue from the bowl first. Then use tongs to lower the chicken into the base of the slow cooker. Add your salt and set your slow cooker to 4 hours on high
Do I need to make a slurry?
No, because there’s so much volume to this recipe, there’s no need to make a thickener. It should thickened up without any intervention.
What is Caribbean green seasoning?
It’s a herbaceous paste that’s used in Trinidadian and some other Eastern Caribbean cuisines. It is an important aspect of Trinidad stew chicken and shouldn’t be omitted. Here is link of how to make Caribbean green seasoning
I don’t have access to pimentos, what is the alternative?
Pimentos are sweet cherry peppers (not to be mistaken for Jamaican pimento berries). They are a very mild chilli that are sweeter than bell peppers. You can quite easily substitute with a red capsicum instead.
Can I make this recipe on the stove top too?
- Add all of the ingredients to the bowl apart from the water, pink salt, sugar and coconut oil
- Mix everything into the chicken, set aside and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight
- Heat coconut oil on medium in a large skillet and add the sugar and caramelise until it looks like syrup (not too dark or it will taste bitter)
- Add the chicken, stir and cover with the lid – brown each side of 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to high to make the excess water evaporate, still turning the chicken.
- Reduce to medium and pour in the excess water.
- Cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes.
- Add salt according to taste
What can I serve Trinidad stew chicken with
- Dumplings (paleo)
- Pigeon peas
- Cabbage (paleo, keto)
Trinidad stew chicken – watch the video
- Paleo, gluten and low carb and keto friendly dish
- If you cannot fit all of chicken thighs into the pan, brown in batches
- Freezer friendly meal
- Scotch bonnet is optional if you do not like heat
Trinidad stew chicken (step by step pictures)
Add all of the ingredients and combine with the chicken excluding the water, pink salt, oil and sugar to the bowl.
Heat the skillet, melt the coconut oil and sprinkle the coconut sugar into the pan
Heat the sugar through until the granules turn into a slightly golden caramel ready for browning the meat.
Add the meat and brown both sides, pour the water into the slow cooker first then place the chicken in the crockpot, add pink salt and set on high for 4 hours
Trinidad stew chicken
- 8 chicken thighs washed with vinegar and lime
- 1 small onion chopped
- 3 small chives scallion, chopped
- 1 to mato chopped
- 5 tbsp of Caribbean green seasoning see post
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 4 pimento pepper chopped finely (or use 1/2 red bell pepper)
- 1 stalk of celery chopped finely
- 1/2 a scotch bonnet optional
- 2 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 tsp of black pepper
- 1 tbsp of coconut aminos in place of soy
- 1 tsp of fresh ginger
- 6 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp of himalayan pink salt
- 1 1/2 cup of hot water
For The Caramelised Sugar
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 2 tbsp of coconut sugar
- Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl.
- Add the onion, chives, tomato, green seasoning, tomato paste, garlic cloves, ginger, aminos, black pepper, scotch bonnet, pimento peppers, celery and thyme to the bowl with the chicken.
- Use your hands to work the ingredients into the chicken until fully combined.
- Allow to marinate overnight or for at least hour in the refrigerator.
- Melt the coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat then sprinkle the coconut sugar into the pan.
- Mix the coconut oil into the coconut oil until the heat turns the granules into a golden syrup.
- Quickly add the chicken thighs to the skillet, rock the pan back and fourth so the caramelised sugar spreads evenly underneath. Keep the bowl of residue from the marinade!!
- Cover the pan and allow the first side to brown for 5 minutes.
- Once browned, turn over the chicken, cover the pan and allow the other side to brown.
- Once both sides have browned, remove the lid and proceed to cook for another 5 minutes, turning frequently.
- Mix the residue from the marinade with the hot water and pour into the base of the slow cooker.
- Use tongs to lower the chicken pieces in with the liquid and any leftovers from the skillet. Then add the pink salt
- Set your slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours, add additional salt or pepper if required