One of the beautiful parts of having a multiracial family, is not only being able to explore areas of the Earth people never think about, but also tasting and experimenting with the wonderful cuisines we have been blessed with.
As our dad is from the UK (Leeds to be precise), we of course enjoy some of the most scrumptious roast dinners. But our mum – who is from Central America (Belize) also provides her Sunday treat, Rice and Beans with stewed chicken which is what she used to eat every Sunday growing up. Way different to what dad was scoffing with a pint in the locals. You may have heard of other variations of this from the Caribbean Islands such as – Jamaica’s Rice and Peas.
But, as it’s one of our fave meals ever (and ever and ever) we want to share the recipe of this bangin’ Latin dinner which we know always make as a big Sunday dinner (alternating roasts wherever we fancy). It takes some prep, but the end result is to die and you can really wow some dinner dates with this.
What I love about this dinner is the smell of it when it’s cooking – it transports us to places we remember from the smell of my Grandma’s kitchen, to the streets of the town San Ignacio and just home in general (that’s right – it’s not a soap, a washing detergent or perfume that brings us home, it’s the smell of blummin’ good food). It’s part of our core, and a meal that must be learnt to carry on our Latin roots.
Remember that this is a meal to impress and takes love and care.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to the book and can give and take to make it your own. We recommend washing up as you go along to save the after dinner depression of seeing this. Oh and one last thing before you get down to this. It’s best made when listening to some Cumbia and merengue!
Rice and Beans:
2 Cups Uncooked long grain rice
1 cup of thick coconut milk
450G Red Kidney beans (tinned)
1 Clove Garlic
1 Onion sliced
1 Large chicken approx. 2KG
400g chopped tomatoes (tin/carton)
1 heaped tbsp all-purpose seasoning
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 large red pepper chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 tbsp white vinegar
Small piece of red Recado
500g medium potatoes
2 medium Carrots
1 Cup of green peas
2oz evaporated milk to taste.
2 tbsp Sunflower oil
1 Large Plantain sliced
Chicken – prep and cook chicken first.
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Place chicken in oven dish and season well with the ingredients and half of the Coriander. Leave out the onions and peppers for now. Place in oven and cook for approx. 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from oven and sprinkle the chopped onion, chopped peppers and carton of chopped tomatoes and cook for a further hour. You can prick the chicken thigh, if the juice runs clear this is ready.
Potato Salad – best served chilled.
- Cut potatoes in half and put in a sauce pan of cold water ensuring they are fully covered. Boil on a medium heat until firm but not soft so they don’t turn into mash when chopped into cubes. (They should not fall off the folk when pricked).
- Boil 2 eggs in a sauce pan of cold water and bring to boil for 10 minutes. Drain and cool eggs in cold water to stop further cooking. Peel and slice.
- Dice carrots and add to pan of water, bring to boil and cook for 10 minutes then add your frozen peas for the last few minutes and then drain.
- Dice your potatoes, add your potatoes, carrots, peas and sliced egg into a salad bowl. Squeeze salad cream and pour evaporated milk for a creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pop in the fridge until serving.
*All potato salad ingredients can be cooked in the same pan at the same time together with practice*
Rice and beans – Prepare in the second half of the chickens cooking to be warm when serving.
- Pour beans in a sauce pan on a medium heat and stir in 1 ½ litres of boiling water. Add a tsp of salt and cover and leave to cook for 40 mins until beans are soft.
- Once the beans have softened, in a frying pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and fry the chopped onion and garlic until brown and add to beans. Let this boil together for a few minutes.
- Wash 2 cups of uncooked rice and stir into the beans mixture. Add here your coconut milk and cook on a low heat for approx. 25-30 mins until rice has absorbed all the liquid and cooked.
Plantain – 10 minutes before serving.
- Add your sunflower oil in a fry pan on medium heat.
- Place your sliced plantain into the oil and fry on each side for just under a minute depending on your thickness. (We like it dark almost black, mum likes it golden yellow).
- Serve on a side plate.
Serve yo dinner and garnish with the remaining Coriander.
This is Abelina Nine
(and little Chloe – stood at the gate)
All the love,