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I first travelled to Trinidad and Tobago in 2017 for work and immediately fell in love. The small island nation has the most incredible people, and the most incredible food! I have since returned a couple of times, and my love for this country, and its cuisine has only grown.
One fascinating thing about Tinidadian cuisine is the blending of cultures. Trinidad is a small island off the coast of Venezuela, and therefore has a large Latin influence. The country was also part of the British Empire which had a huge impact on the shaping of the culture of the country. However, potentially the largest cultural influences come from the large African and Indian population on the islands.
This has resulted an incredibly vibrant and diverse range of flavors in the country, with many national dishes showing a blend of Caribbean, Indian, and African flavors. Curried chicken is no exception. With a pop of heat, this island classic is a delicious and easy meal!
What Ingredients Will I Need?
While the full ingredient list is available below, here is a breakdown of exactly what you will need to make this Trinidad curry chicken recipe.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – while chicken legs are a more traditional cut of meat to use, I prefer the tenderness of chicken thighs. I also love how much easier chicken thighs are to handle with cutlery!
- White onion – this will go into our curry paste, so I recommend roughly chopping this.
- Fresh ginger – this will also go into our curry paste. A rough chop is best!
- Garlic cloves – again, this is for our curry paste. Roughly chop so it is easier for the food processor to break it down.
- Fresh chopped cilantro – this is also a component of the curry paste, so a rough chop will work great!
- Habanero pepper or scotch bonnet pepper – be careful with this. I used one whole habanero pepper with the seeds removed and it was still very fiery. If you are not a fan of spice, either use half or skip this ingredient.
- Curry powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper – this is obviously a key part of the curry paste.
- Olive oil – you will use this to cook the chicken in the skillet.
- Half cup of water or low sodium chicken broth – you can use either broth or water. You will add it to the chicken in the skillet to create a curry sauce. You could also use coconut milk to reduce the level of spice in the sauce!
How to Prepare Trinidadian Style Curry Chicken
While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips to prepare this delicious chicken curry recipe!
- First, we will create our curry mixture. Using a food processor, we will add our onion, ginger, garlic, cilantro, and hot pepper and pulse until cut into small pieces. I recommend chopping all of the ingredients roughly before adding them to the food processor. This is important, because it helps the food processor chop the ingredients to a more consistent and fine texture. Once the ingredients have been chopped finely, add two tbsp of curry powder and salt. Continue to mix curry powder and salt with the other ingredients in the food processor until you get a paste. The fresh ingredients in this curry paste will add so much flavor to your chicken!
- Now, in a small bowl add your chicken pieces and toss with your curry paste. Heat oil in a deep large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add your seasoned chicken to the hot oil along with any extra curry paste. Sear the chicken on each side until golden brown, approximately three to five minutes per side.
- Now, add enough water or chicken broth to create a sauce with the curry paste – approximately half of a cup. Lower heat to a simmer and let the chicken finish cooking in the sauce and its own juices. This will take approximately 10 minutes. If the chicken starts to get dry, add a little water to the bottom of the pot.
- Serve over a bed of rice or with roti, some lime juice and fresh herbs. The rice and roti are important to serve with this dish, as this Caribbean curry packs a lot of heat! And there you have a delicious classic Trinidad styled curry chicken dinner!
Frequently Asked Questions About Trinidadian Style Curry Chicken
Can I add coconut milk to this recipe?
Totally! Coconut milk would be great in this meal and might help lower the heat from the hot peppers! Simply replace the water or chicken broth with the coconut milk and follow the same cooking directions. This is a great curried chicken recipe because it is so flexible whether you use coconut milk, chicken broth, or water!
Can I make this in my Instant Pot or slow cooker?
I think this recipe could definitely be prepared in your Instant Pot or slow cooker! The only thing I would caution is that I have not actually tested these cooking methods, so it will be a little more of an experiment for you.
What is the difference between Caribbean and Indian curry?
Caribbean curries are usually prepared using a premade curry powder. These tend to be higher in turmeric than Indian curries. Indian curry powder is usually prepared by the chef and is not premade or packaged. Indian curry powder blends are likely to be spicier than Caribbean since Caribbean curries are meant to blended to create a paste with fresh peppers. The curry paste in Caribbean curries is typically used to marinate the protein.
Other Recipes You Will Also Enjoy
If you loved this curry chicken Trini style, check out some of these other recipes I’m sure you will love!
- Thai Green Curry Chicken
- Harissa and Turkey Stew
- Spiced Chicken and Chickpea Stew
- Easy Portuguese Chicken Mozambique
This Trinidadian style curry chicken uses homemade green seasoning to make a flavorful curry paste. A traditional Trinidad recipe, this meal is easy and delicious!
- 1 cup white onion, roughly chopped (approx. 1 medium)
- 1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed for less spice
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- Add onion, ginger, garlic, cilantro, and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add curry powder and salt to the food processor and run on high until well combined and a curry paste is formed. In a medium mixing bowl, coat the chicken thighs evenly with the curry paste. You can let this marinade for an hour, or cook immediately.
- Heat a deep non-stick skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Add the chicken and all of the curry paste to the skillet. Let the chicken sear on each side, approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side. Add chicken or water to the skillet to deglaze the pan and use a wooden spoon to remove any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer down until the chicken is cooked through, approximately 5-10 minutes. You chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F and its juices run clear. Serve over a bed of rice or with roti. Enjoy!
- This is great the next day! Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 to 5 days and microwave to reheat.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of yield
- Calories: 180
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 373mg
- Fat: 10g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 10g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 17g
- Cholesterol: 75mg
Keywords: Trinidad Curry Chicken, Trinidadian Curried Chicken, Easy Chicken Dinners, Skillet Dinners, Skillet Meals, Easy Weeknight Dinners, Weeknight Dinners, Quick Meals, Date Night Dinner, Trinidadian Cuisine
The nutrition information provided is an estimate generated using a third party online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
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