Trinidad-Style Curry Chicken

Trinidad-Style Curry Chicken

I am a child of the 80s and proud of it.

  • I still listen to Tears for Fears, Alphaville, Erasure, Duran Duran, Psychedelic Furs and A Flock of Seagulls
  • At least once a year I need to watch Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Red Dawn, and Back to the Future
  • I can sing the theme song to “Greatest American Hero”
  • I did the preppie look (collar flipped up), I used Sun-in to bleach my hair and yes I had a mullet

You may wonder why I am in this 80s mood. Well, it is because of the recipe I get to share with you today. This recipe is one of the first dishes I ever learned how to make. Yes, Trinidad-style curry chicken was something I learned back in the 80s. In high school I was in the band and played alto sax and alto clarinet. I played in the concert band, jazz band, jazz quartet, and more. In the band, I had a close friend whose family was from Trinidad. Rich is a great guy and we hung out all the time. I always loved going to his house to hang out. His mom, who just so happened to work with my mom, made the most amazing food. Grace would make roti stuffed with curried meat and potatoes. It was out of this world and something completely unique to the food I usually ate.

One day I asked Grace to teach me how to make her curry chicken. She shared her recipe with me and, since then, I have made it countless times. I know that my recipe has likely evolved over the years but it is still incredibly delicious and makes me think of those days in the 80s and early 90s when I used to go over to visit.

It is interesting how times change and people move away. Neither Rich nor I live in the city we grew up in. He left Sarnia and lived a number of years in California, whereas I have been living in Toronto. One of the great things about Facebook, is it’s ability to reconnect old friends. Rich and I have connected on Facebook and kept in touch over the years. The crazy thing is, last month he moved just outside Toronto. Tomorrow we are going to connect for lunch. I haven’t seen him in years! It is gonna be great – I mean – Like Totally Awesome!!

Directions are with the photos

Wash the chicken drumsticks and peel the skin up to the knob.

Using a cleaver, or any good solid knife, chop the top part off the drumstick. Check to see if there are any little chipped pieces of bone hanging around. Remove them, if there are, and wash them one more time.

Pulse the onion, garlic, ginger, 1/2 cup cilantro and hot pepper in the food processor until finely chopped. Remove the seeds of the pepper if you do not like it really hot.

Add the curry powder and pulse it again until a curry paste is formed.

Rub the curry paste all over the chicken drumsticks and place in the fridge for at least an hour to marinate. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the marinated chicken. Brown on all sides and then add the water to create a sauce. Let the chicken simmer about 45 minutes longer. Add a little more water if the sauce gets too dry.

Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or roti (if you can get them).

Trinidad-Style Curry Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 inch piece or ginger, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 hot pepper (scotch bonnet or habanero)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Wash the chicken drumsticks and peel the skin up to the knob.
  2. Using a cleaver, or any good solid knife, chop the top part off the drumstick. Check to see if there are any little chipped pieces of bone hanging around. Remove them, if there are, and wash them one more time.
  3. Pulse the onion, garlic, ginger, ½ cup cilantro and hot pepper in the food processor until finely chopped. Remove the seeds of the pepper if you do not like it really hot.
  4. Add the curry powder and pulse it again until a curry paste is formed.
  5. Rub the curry paste all over the chicken drumsticks and place in the fridge for at least an hour to marinate. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the marinated chicken. Brown on all sides and then add the water to create a sauce. Let the chicken simmer about 45 minutes longer. Add a little more water if the sauce gets too dry.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or roti (if you can get them).
 

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25 comments

  1. This looks totally delicious!! I’m also a child of the 80’s and I loved the song “Greatest American Hero”. The 80’s were such a great time!! How very cool that you and your friend are getting together. I can just imagine how excited you are to meet him again. I think it’s so nice his mother taught you to cook this dish (not bad for one of the first things you learned how to cook). Now I know where your love of curry comes from and it’s “totally awesome dude”. LOL… I feel old now. :)

  2. Hi Steve,
    This looks so good. I love the way you have cut the chicken drumsticks. Going to do that next time I make curry.

  3. From another 80s person, I can totally relate to your music and movie choices. First Wave is one of my favorite channels on Sirius…I actually worked in radio in the mid 80s while in college, so I have great memories of that music. This curry looks fabulous! I don’t make it at home often, but this makes me want to make up a batch!

  4. How cool that you and your friend are hooking up in person after all these years! Funny how he ended up moving so close to you-small world.
    This one is definitely a food memory for you. I really like the method of preparation here-less bone and no skin!
    Also this is a great example of that cuisine and I can see why you continue to make this entree time and time again.
    Enjoy the lunch with your friend!

  5. What a stroll down memory lane … Children of the 80’s unite :-)

  6. I am a serious child of the 1980s too–it seems like such a simpler time. This curry looks amazing–fully flavored and I love the color.

  7. How cool Steve to hook up with your old friend. My husband is a jazz sax and keyboard player. In my old hippie days I played in a girl rock band way back in the 70’s, LOL. Great curry dish, I think I could substitute tofu or even seitan. What do you think? You know I think I will try it with the seitan. Do you have your friends Mom’s roti recipe? I have always wanted to make that and stuff it with potatoesand carrots. Have a great day.

  8. Mmm, green curry, too! :) Sounds like a winning recipe.

  9. Wow! This looks delicious! NIce work, Steve!

  10. While I was buzzing for barley soup, my eyes spotted this lovely green Trinidad style chicken.
    I used cilantro in almost every dish but never made this kind of gravy. love it.

  11. Are you able to substitute fresh cilantro for dried cilantro? If so, what would the measurement be for dried cilantro? Thank you :)

  12. This looks delish, and way easier than I anticipated Trini Curry to be.
    How do you think this would turn out in crock pot? Could you add potatoes and peas?

  13. Do you have to remove the skin for this recipe?

  14. Sorry – I forgot to add an additional question! :) Can chicken thighs be used?

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