This might sound strange, but it was a bit of a happy accident for me to cook this at this time of year. There is quite the alliance between commonly used Caribbean/Jamaican spices and the spices we all associate with Christmas in the UK (and I’m guessing US). Fragrant cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon feature heavily. This Caribbean Chicken & Pineapple Stew ended up being the perfect meal for this time of year. With only a few weeks left until Christmas.
I actually started the research for this recipe thinking that I wanted to make a traditional Jamaican Jerk chicken. Unfortunately, not being able to find allspice in Dubai I soon turned to looking to substitutes. It sounded more and more like Christmas with every recipe I read. The main advisement for a substitute is to combine cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.
I have moved quite far from the traditional ‘Jerk’ chicken to more of a homely tomato based stew recipe. I also didn’t add any chilli or hot spices so it’s mild. Honestly though, while this was cooking, EVERY TIME I walked into my kitchen I was in heaven! It’s beautiful. The chicken is first marinated with a mixture of the spices and some Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar. The marinade is then added to the tomato mix in the cooking. The tang from the marinade with the fragrant spices is just amazing. Fresh pineapple also gives a beautiful fruity element to the stew.
I made this with coconut rice, using a mix of both wild rice and basmati. It was absolutely amazing. I didn’t go too heavy on the coconut milk to give just a hint of coconut – so as not to overpower the flavours of the stew. I also made a fresh mango salsa to add a fruity and fresh taste to complement the dish. You could definitely add a mango chutney (even from a jar) and that would also go supremely well.
This is a great contender for meal prep – it will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge and freezes very well. I’d highly recommend whipping up a few portions to keep you going. Yum!
Products that work well for this recipe
Wild Olive Wood Pestle & Mortar
Caribbean Chicken & Pineapple StewCourse: DinnerCuisine: CaribbeanDifficulty: Easy
A brilliant winter-time dish with fragrant cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Tangy marinated chicken is combined with a rich tomato based stew and fresh pineapple. Great served with a side of coconut rice.
3 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 clove garlic, crushed
50g onion (around 1/2 a small onion). Roughly chopped into chunks
1 chicken breast, raw (around 150g)
50g red bell pepper, desseded and cut into chunks
50g pineapple, cut into chunks. I used fresh, but you could use tinned
100g tinned chopped tomatoes
- In a large bowl, mix together the Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and the garlic. Add the chicken breast to the mixture and leave out of the fridge for 20 minutes. It’s better to cook the chicken from room temperature as it will cook more evenly.
- Once you’ve let the chicken infuse, add some light cooking spray or olive oil to a frying pan over a medium high heat. Saute the onion for 2 minutes – don’t let it brown.
- Add the red pepper for a further 2-3 minutes and toss everything together well.
- Lower the heat to medium and push everything to one side of the pan. Add the chicken breast. Let cook for a couple of minutes before turning over and cooking for a further 2 minutes on the other side. Reserve the marinade for the next step.
- Add the tomato, pineapple and the marinade to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and shred into large rough pieces using two forks. No need for it to be finely shredded. Return to the pan and stir in and cook for a further couple of minutes. Serve and enjoy!