Thanksgiving Guyanese Essequibo Chicken

17 Oct

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I got this recipe from this hilarious cookbook called Don’t Stop the Cook!  that my mum brought me back from a vacation to Jamaica. It inexplicably has a rather earnest-looking (white)  pirate on the cover,  features many, many Caribbean recipes and contains zero photos.

It’s my new favourite cookbook. This recipe was amazing.

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I made this in lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving turkey because…I didn’t feel like turkey.  I was originally going to make Jerk spiced ribs, but I left it too late and all the butcher shops were closed.

Plan B!  I still wanted to use this book, so I decided to try out the Essequibo. It was amazing! The flavours were super rich and full bodied. The sauce reminded me of a French ratatouille, which might make sense considering that France at one point colonized Guyana.20131017-191623.jpg

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He liked it!

Guyanese Essequibo Chicken (serves 4)

  • 8 chicken thighs (or drumsticks would work well too)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons raw sugar
  • 1 onion (red or yellow) chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • coconut or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. In a large pan (I had to use two medium sized ones) heat oil over medium heat. When hot, sprinkle sugar over oil and let bubble (do not burn)
  2. Add chicken to sugar/oil and fry until browned evenly. Add red or yellow onion and garlic and fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add celery salt, garlic salt and green onions, thyme, red pepper, tomato and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes or so,
  4. Add tomato paste and water. Simmer on low heat for one hour, skimming the fat off the top of the sauce with a teaspoon.
  5. Combine cornstarch with about two tablespoons of water and quickly stir into sauce mixture to thicken.
  6. Mix well and season with pepper and more fresh thyme.

Serve on top of rice and beans with salad!

Fun (?) fact: “Essequibo (Dutch: Essequebo) was a Dutch colony on the Essequibo River in the Guiana region on the north coast of South America from 1616 to 1814. The colony formed a part of the colonies that are known under the collective name of Dutch Guiana”

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5 Responses to “Thanksgiving Guyanese Essequibo Chicken”

  1. Francesca October 19, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    What a freakin’ awesome book cover, too!

  2. davegon October 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    I need to not shy away from cookbooks with no pictures. That looks like a delicious feast! Thanks for sharing. I’m going to try making this for dinner some night soon.

    • food,mostly October 21, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

      Yes Dave…some of the classics, such as Mastering the Art of French Cooking contain few pictures! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

  3. muscle car October 24, 2013 at 9:33 am #

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