Blogging Marathon #17
Theme: Archived Recipes Revisited & Improved

Although my grandmother is from the Caribbean island of Dominica, my first and only visit to the island was in 2007.  Although I loved my grandmother dearly and miss her so much even after the 11 years she has been gone, a good cook she was not.  There were only two things that I enjoyed eating from her and that is Fish Cakes & Bakes. These were the only two things she knew how to do well.  She had many wonderful attributes including a wicked sense of humor and her love of dance & music always made her the life of every family party, but a culinary genius she was not. Even my mother always said that her mom was a horrible cook and she learned to cook from her father’s relatives.

When I visited the island, in addition to falling in love with the beauty of the island and the people, I also fell in love with the food.  Things like Crab Calaloo & Breadfruit Puffs were some of the new dishes I was introduced to.  With some very friendly eating place proprietors like the chief’s wife at the Carib Guest House & a relative who owns a food & lodging establishment, I learned how to make some of their delicious foods. I would sit in the kitchen of the guest house shelling fresh roasted coffee beans as the chief’s wife shared her recipes with me.

Today, I’ve revisited my recipe for Creole Baked Chicken…Dominica style

Creole Baked Chicken

lime juice
1 small chicken, about 3 lbs., cut into pieces and skin removed from breasts and thighs
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoon sunflower oil (or other healthy oil like olive or safflower)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 minced Scotch Bonnet Pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Wash chicken with juice of 1 lime. Rinse well.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl with chicken pieces. Mix thoroughly to combine in a Ziploc bag.

Leave to marinate at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place chicken pieces along with all marinade ingredients into large baking dish.

Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until cooked thoroughly.
Transfer to broiler part of oven with setting on hi. Put baking dish in broiler part of oven. Bake for 5 minutes until golden brown. Rotate pieces and broil on other side for another 5 minutes.  To serve, top with gravy from roasting pan and chopped parsley.
Serve immediately with rice or ground provisions and hot sauce.

Creole Chicken & Homemade Hot Sauce

What we call ground provision can be one or an assortment of root vegetables – usually potatoes, sweet potatoes, eddoes, breadfruit, green banana – cooked very simply.  Usually just boiled and sometimes topped with sauteed onions and peppers.

Here are some examples of the food & reasons to visit Dominica via photos:

Dominica Photos – yes that’s fresh cocoa in the top photo
Produce growing at my Cousin Marcia

Caribbean people like food very well done.  We cook the hell out of meat.  There is no such thing as rare or medium rare and there will be nothing ever pink, red or any signs of residual blood.  Chicken is never white and that is why the meat is broiled.  We like our food with color.

I remember when I was on vacation in Spain with a friend of  mine who is from Dominican Republic, another Caribbean island where they cook meat well done.   We were eating in a local bistro pub and asked for the meat well done and her steak was served in a pool of blood. She was so disgusted she almost lost her appetite.  However, we asked them to cook it more.  It was still pink inside.  The waiter said if they cook it anymore, it will be burnt. We asked him to burn it and finally, it came back perfect for our Caribbean palates.  We stayed away from red meat for the rest of the vacation.

Don’t forget to check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#17

Chef Mireille
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