This traditional Haitian stewed chicken dish owes its fiery kick to a marinade with Scotch bonnet peppers. This recipe first appeared in The Light of Morning, a story about a town in northwest Haiti where putting good food on the table is both a serious business and a reassuring ritual.
Haitian Stewed Chicken (Poulet Creole)
This traditional Haitian stewed chicken dish owes its bright, spicy kick to a tart marinade of lime juice and fiery Scotch bonnet peppers.
Yield: serves 6-8
1 (3–4-lb.) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 cloves garlic
2 scallions, roughly chopped
2 sprigs parsley
1 sprig thyme, stemmed
1 Scotch bonnet chile, split
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1⁄2 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Place chicken in a shallow baking dish. Purée salt, garlic, scallions, parsley, thyme, Scotch bonnet chile, half the green bell peppers, and 1⁄2 cup water in a food processor and pour over chicken. Chill for 4 hours.
Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Scrape marinade from chicken; reserve marinade. Add chicken to pot and cook, turning once, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside. Add remaining green bell peppers, onions, and red bell peppers to pot, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, 8–10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return chicken to pot, along with reserved marinade and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover pot slightly; cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender, 25–30 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Correction: August 22, 2011 The printed headnote for this recipe mentioned lime. However, the recipe does not contain lime. The headnote has been corrected to reflect this.