Caribbean Dinner -- In Your Crock Pot!
Escape to the islands with this simple, slow-cooked chicken recipe
I fell in love with the flavors of the Caribbean on my honeymoon. The warm spices and fresh island ingredients used in the dishes we sampled on our trip were so different from most of the recipes I had prepared in my Indiana kitchen.
Today, whenever I find a recipe with a Caribbean flair, I add it to my notebook. I may not be able to afford plane tickets or an all-inclusive resort in St. Lucia, but at least I can close my eyes for a moment, breathe in the mouth-watering smell of Caribbean cuisine, and imagine myself at a table on the beach with a warm ocean breeze in my hair. Caribbean food is my equivalent of a "Calgon" moment.
I found this recipe in "How to Make Love and Dinner at the Same Time," a cookbook with "200 Slow Cooker Recipes to Heat Up the Bedroom Instead of the Kitchen."
I haven’t tried many of the recipes, but this book definitely made me laugh. “How to Make Love and Dinner at the Same Time” is not as racy as the title implies, but it does provide entertaining stories and humorous lists such as “The Depressing Things We Buy” in addition to some delicious, non-traditional slow cooker recipes.
The author Rebecca Field Yager has a no-nonsense, funny writing voice and she is talented with her slow cooker. Of the three slow cooker books I checked out from the Strongsville Library this week, I’m actually reading this one.
This Caribbean Chicken recipe came together in about 30 minutes. I did all of the prep work the night before, put everything into the crock pot liner, and then refrigerated it overnight. The next morning, all I needed to do was drop the liner into the heating element and set it to cook on low.
I was away from home all morning while the Caribbean Chicken cooked. When I returned in the afternoon, the delightful smell that hit me as I walked through the door was a pleasant reminder that I didn't need to worry about starting dinner. Awesome!
The perfectly cooked chicken swimming in a flavorful sauce makes for a delicious, well-balanced meal when served over hot rice. On the second day, you can pick the chicken off of the bone and stir everything together to make a yummy Caribbean stew from the leftovers.
3 pounds chicken pieces
1 tablespoon oil
4 potatoes, cubed
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
In a skillet, brown the chicken in oil over medium-high heat.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to the slow cooker, and add the potatoes and tomatoes to the slow cooker.
Add the onion, green pepper, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, pepper, cayenne, thyme and salt to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
Stir the broth into the skillet then transfer the mixture to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for an additional 30 minutes on low.
I adapted the recipe to my taste by adding a little more salt, sugar and cayenne pepper.
This is delicious served over rice for soaking up the yummy broth!