Jamaican Curried Chicken and Pink Potato Salad

22 Nov

My daughter was born a few weeks before Christmas. My mother and sister flew up to Philadelphia on the day she was born and planned to stay for a week before an early winter storm dumped two feet of snow on the city, forcing them to stay a few extra days.

In the weeks leading up to Bella’s birth I was overwhelmed and nervous.  At the same time fully aware that everything was about to change but completely clueless as to how.  In an effort to distract myself, I focused on what I might want to eat those first few days home from the hospital.  A “Welcome to Motherhood” menu, if you will.  I wanted Caymanian food.  Warm, spicy, rich, stick to your bones, comfort food.

My father might get a lot of attention in my family for his cooking skills, but my mother is no slouch in the kitchen.  The woman can cook.  And boy did she ever.  She and my sister churned out Caymanian comfort food the whole week they were here.   Oxtail, curried chicken, pink potato salad, macaroni and cheese, baked barbecue chicken, rice and peas.  It was  the perfect way to welcome Bella home.

On a rainy fall day last week I made curried chicken and pink potato salad and was brought right back to those first few days of motherhood.  Learning to care for my daughter while my mother and sister cared for us.  They say that the most delicious food has the power to trigger memories with one bite.  This is one of those meals.

Jamaican Style Curried Chicken

1 lbs chicken thighs and legs

1 medium onion roughly diced

2 scallions sliced thinly

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 scotch bonnet or Habanero pepper

3 sprigs of thyme

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

Combine all ingredients, except for the potato, in a large bowl.  Toss to combine and refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.  In a large pot brown the chicken in batches.  Add  the chicken, onions, scallions and scotch bonnet to the pot and pour enough water to cover the chicken.  Simmer on medium low heat until the chicken is falling off of the bone – about one and a half hours.  Add the potatoes and simmer for 20 minutes until tender and the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Pink Potato/Breadfruit Salad

I LOVE this potato salad. The beets add an earthy sweetness and turn the whole thing a beautiful shade of pink.

3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes or 1 large breadfruit, peeled, diced and boiled

1 large beet, roasted, peeled and diced

1/2 cup of green peas cooked, drained and cooled

1 scallion chopped

1 scotch bonnet finely diced

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and gently fold in mayonnaise.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate.


3 Responses to “Jamaican Curried Chicken and Pink Potato Salad”

  1. Mish November 27, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    There needs to be a “love” button for this post. Particularly for the breadfruit salad. And the pink – so beautifully old school. 🙂


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