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12 July, 2011

Pollo con Piňa

This wonderful Antiguan chicken curry is a big hit with all my family and friends. To me it is simply the Caribbean on a plate; it incorporates all that is fresh, fruity, tantalising and spicy about the food of the region - all in one dish!

Please do not use boned or intensive farmed chicken; it is not authentic and does not give enough flavour. This dish is well worth the additional expense. Serves 4-6.

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 large onions, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of madras curry powder
1 large fresh free-range chicken, cut into 12 pieces (bone in, skinned)
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon of hot pepper sauce (or to taste)
1 tablespoon of honey
1 can of coconut milk
1 cup of chicken stock
A handful of chopped coriander leaves
1 generous tot of rum
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large cooking pot until very hot. Add the onions and stir-fry until they are soft. Add the garlic and ginger and stir. Add the curry powder and stir well. Add the chicken pieces and fry until they are all seared. Add the pineapple and tomatoes and stir. Add the hot pepper sauce, honey, coconut milk and stock. Stir well and bring to a boil, then simmer on a low heat for about 40 minutes, or until the meat is succulent. Add the coriander and rum just prior to serving. Salt to taste.

This dish is excellent served with rice & peas, fried plantain chips and baked sweet potatoes (all three if you are hungry). I like a cold, strong lager with it - Red Stripe would be my first choice. Put your favourite reggae album on and imagine blue seas, palm trees and white sandy beaches. Soon come!

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