Pelau is a savory one-pot Grenadian favorite often served mid-week. I still remember looking forward to this as the second ‘rice meal’ for the week (the other was Sunday dinner). This ‘one pot‘ included bits of meat, typically chicken, first browned using burnt sugar; to which rice, fresh herbs, peas or beans, veggies and coconut milk are added.
OK. Now that I’m hungry, lets start cooking!
2 cups cooked beans or pigeon peas (1 cup uncooked / if using canned–wash thoroughly and drain)*
3 lbs. of chicken pieces (whole chicken cut up, thighs or drumsticks), washed with lime or vinegar and drained
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp oil
1 stalk celery, diced (about ¾ cup)
1 medium red sweet pepper, diced (about ¾ cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about ¾ cup)*
2 cups parboiled rice, washed and drained
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups fresh or canned coconut milk or water
Maggie seasoning cube (chicken)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 seasoning (pimento) pepper diced or 1 scotch bonnet pepper (Hot)
*You can also use frozen mixed peas and carrots or veggies of your choice
Green seasoning for chicken (or use your favorite blend)
4 large cloves garlic
4 scallions, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 bunch thyme
1 medium onion, chopped (about ¾cup)
1 pimento pepper
- In a food processor or blender, add garlic, scallions, thyme, onion and pimento and chop finely.
- To the chicken add half of the green seasoning(reserving the other half), salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to coat the chicken with the seasonings. Marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
- In a dry large deep heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat oil then add sugar. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it is melted completely and starts to froth, bubble and become dark brown
Add the seasoned chicken, turning frequently to coat and prevent sticking – about 5 minutes. Cover for 2 – 3 minutes to bring browning liquid to a little boil.
- Add the rice to the chicken and stir to coat. Add beans or peas, diced sweet red pepper, carrot, celery and the remainder of the green seasoning. Mix well.
- Pour in coconut milk and water or other cooking liquid. Add scotch bonnet pepper (whole), chopped seasoning(pimento) pepper, thyme and tomato ketchup.
- Add maggie cube. Stir to dissolve. Taste – adjust with salt and back pepper if needed.
- Cover pot and bring to a boil. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat to low or simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until rice is cooked and all the liquid has evaporated.