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.
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.
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
- 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)
- Add chicken to sugar/oil and fry until browned evenly. Add red or yellow onion and garlic and fry for 1 minute.
- Add celery salt, garlic salt and green onions, thyme, red pepper, tomato and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes or so,
- Add tomato paste and water. Simmer on low heat for one hour, skimming the fat off the top of the sauce with a teaspoon.
- Combine cornstarch with about two tablespoons of water and quickly stir into sauce mixture to thicken.
- 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”