COQ AU RHUM
Eat Caribbean by Virginia Burke
This method of cooking the chicken is quite similar to a fricassee with the choice of spices and tomatoes, but it achieves a mysterious depth with the addition of the dark rum and cream. Even though a fair amount of rum is used, the flavour is a lot subtler than you might expect. A bit of a twist on a traditional dish.
Preparation time: 10 minutes + 2 hours marinating + 30 minutes cooking.
• 1 chicken, jointed, skin left on (unless you insist)
• juice of 1 lime
• 1 tbsp oil
• 1 tbsp cooking oil (use more if you skin the chicken)
• 3/4 cup dark rum
• 1 tsp allspice berries or (1/2 tsp ground allspice)
• 2 bay leaves
• 9 oz tomatoes, skinned and de-seeded
• 1 potato, peeled and cubed
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 cup sliced mushrooms
• 1/2 cup cream (this is delicious, but optional)
• salt and pepper
For the seasoning:
• 1 onion
• 1/2 or 1 scotch bonnet pepper, de-seeded
• 4 spring onions
• 3 garlic cloves
1. Wash the chicken in salty water and then pat dry and squeeze the lime juice over.
2. Finely chop all the seasoning ingredients together and rub all over chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to a day.
3. Heat the oil in a large pot. Brush most of the seasoning off chicken and reserve. Brown the pieces of chicken (three pieces a time); then remove and keep aside.
4. Add the reserved seasoning to the pot and allow the onions to become transparent.
5. De-glaze the pot with about 1/4 cup of the rum, scraping all the sticky bits of browned chicken from the bottom, and then add the chicken pieces, allspice, bay leaves, tomatoes, potato and water. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes until thoroughly cooked. (The potato will blend in to thicken the sauce.) Add a little more water if you find it is necessary.
6. Remove the chicken. If you prefer a smooth sauce it can be strained at this stage.
7. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the rum and simmer for 5 more minutes until the alcohol evaporates. Remove the chicken. Skim off any excess oil. (If you prefer a smooth sauce it can be strained at this stage.)
8. Then stir in the cream, if using, check the seasoning and pour the sauce over the warm chicken to serve.