As I’ve said before, the kitchen in our little Barbados apartment is really tiny, but it hasn’t stopped me from trying new recipes and experimenting with local ingredients. In fact, I’m enjoying cooking here more than any other place we’ve travelled!
I think it’s because there’s a wide variety of local produce at a reasonable cost, and most of what’s local here is considered exotic in Canada – we’ve been cooking with mangoes, fresh coconut, Bajan spice blends, curry, lamb, pork, and fresh fish.
I tried a recipe the other night from Jill Walker’s Caribbean Cookbook (the book was in our apartment when we arrived). Jill is Bajan and a wonderful local artist. Her daughter, Charlotte Hingston wrote the book, Jill illustrated it, and it’s published by “Best of Barbados Ltd” – a company owned by her family.
I was inspired by a lot of her recipes, but one that really caught my eye was the “Curried Chicken and Mango.” I adapted it to make it a bit more health conscious (ie. no flour or margarine, & added some extra spice). Mango is awesome because it’s high in vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber and phytochemicals (cancer-fighting antioxidants found in plant foods).
I know fresh mangoes & coconut aren’t readily available in Canada, but you can buy frozen mango (already peeled & chopped!) and dried unsweetened shredded coconut. If you want to channel some warm weather, try this healthy, easy, yummy Caribbean dish!
Mango Coconut Curried Chicken
2 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil (higher burning temp than olive oil)
4 organic chicken breasts (cut into small pieces)
2 tbsp of curry powder (make sure it’s fresh!)
½ tsp cayenne
¾ cup coconut milk
¾ cup organic chicken stock (low sodium, no msg)
3 ripe medium mangoes or 3 cups mango cubes
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish
1 cup brown rice or quinoa
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Cook brown rice or quinoa according to package instructions
In a large bowl, toss chicken pieces in curry & cayenne until well coated
Cut mango into cubes and arrange in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Season mango with salt & pepper
Heat oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken and cook for a few minutes turning frequently. Slowly add the stock & milk, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Pour the chicken & liquid mixture onto the mangoes, pop it in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
Serve over rice or quinoa, garnish with coconut and enjoy!