Haitian Chicken Stew

How to make a Haitian Chicken Stew.

INGREDIENTS: Serves 4-6

For marinating the chicken:

  • 2 lbs of mixed bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry 
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 1 juicy orange, halved
  • 1 juicy lime, halved
  • 1 juicy lemon, halved 
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into ⅛-inch half-moon slices 
  • 8 garlic cloves, roughly sliced 
  • 2 Scotch bonnet or habanero chillies, cut in half and sliced thin
  • ¼ cup of fresh thyme leaves 

For the dish:

  • ⅓ cup of extra-virgin olive oil 
  • ½ cup of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon salt 
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and deveined, cut into long, thin slices 
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and deveined, cut into long, thin slices 
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • small handful roughly chopped parsley sprigs

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put the chicken pieces in a large bowl and season with the salt.
  2. Squeeze the citrus halves over the chicken, then spend a minute or so rubbing the cut sides of the citrus against the chicken.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, chillies and thyme.
  4. Toss well, rubbing the chicken as you do.
  5. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours or up to 48 hours. 
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  7. Remove the chicken from the marinade, guiding any stuck-on aromatics back into the bowl.
  8. Set a strainer over a small mixing bowl.
  9. Pour the marinade through the strainer, reserving the solids and liquid.
  10. Pat the chicken very dry with paper towels. 
  11. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy, ovenproof pot over medium-high heat just until shimmery.
  12. Cook the chicken, skin-side down, occasionally turning the drumsticks but not the thighs, until the skin is deep brown, about 8 minutes.
  13. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate. 
  14. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the tomato paste and salt, and cook, stirring often, until it turns several shades darker, about 3 minutes.
  15. Add the bell peppers and the reserved solids from the marinade, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers soften slightly and take on a little colour, about 8 to 10 minutes. 
  16. Return the chicken to the pan, skin side up and in a single layer, then take a minute to pile the peppers, onions, and other aromatics on top of the chicken.
  17. Then evenly pour in the reserved liquid from the marinade along with the stock.
  18. Cook in the oven, basting every 15 minutes to coat the chicken with the peppers and sauce, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the meat pulls off the bone with a gentle tug from a fork, about 1 hour.
  19. Garnish with the parsley and serve.
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