Trinidad-Style Curry Chicken

Trinidad Style Chicken Curry

This Trinidad curry chicken recipe is easily one of my favourite dishes from my childhood. Making curry chicken is very easy and in this recipe, I give detailed instructions for how to cut and prepare the chicken drumsticks. 

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.

How to Cut Chicken Drumsticks

Preparing the drumsticks is an important part of this Trinidad curry chicken recipe as it allows the meat to get so tender that it falls right off the bone!

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.

Finish with the remaining drumsticks and place in a large bowl.

How to make the curry paste

This curry paste for this Trinidad curry chicken recipe is packed with fresh ingredients and has some serious heat with the pepper.

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.

The texture should be somewhat smooth. You should not see any large chunks of anything in the paste.

Rub the curry paste all over the chicken drumsticks and place in the fridge for at least an hour to marinate.

How to cook the curry chicken

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 the Trinidad curry chicken with rice or roti (if you can get them).

Other recipes that go great with this chicken

Trinidad-Style Curry Chicken

4.89 out of 5
36 reviews
Print
A great West Indian curry chicken recipe. Chicken with curry paste made from onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro scotch bonnet and curry powder.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 drumsticks

Ingredients

  • 12 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 inch ginger peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 hot pepper (scotch bonnet or habanero)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • 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).

Nutrition

Per serving:

Calories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 14gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 275mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Nutrition Disclaimer

Categories

Trinidad Style Chicken Curry

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating




94 comments

  • Thank you for the recipe. Great Job !!!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    It turned out amazing! And it was easy enough to make, which I loved. I did have to add a little more salt as one teaspoon was not enough.

    • Reply
  • I rarely read the blog of an interesting dish, just jump to the recipe and give it a go. But yours, yours caught my eye. Also a young adult of the 80’s, the songs and shows are right on. I can’t wait to try your curry recipe while strolling down memory lane with my 80’s playlist setting the mood in the background. Thank you for sharing and reminding me of those times when I am transported to a sunny day when life was a little easier and a bit cooler.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    love this recipe it’s amazing with chicken but is there a way I can use vegetables or non meat to make this dish?

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I used boneless chicken thighs (yes, I cheated!) and added potatoes as another reviewer suggested, with a little bit of chicken broth… It was incredible. The spice was just right. I served it with naan (it’s all I had on hand and didn’t feel like using rice with the added potatoes). This recipe is a keeper for sure. In fact, I already can’t wait to have it again!

    • Reply
  • 4 stars
    Trinidadians don’t really use cilantro for this. They use Culantro or Chado beni. Some will also use coconut milk instead of water to make the gravy.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Hi Steve, I love this recipe! I’ve been cooking it for about 6 years for my wife and her Trini mother. She doesn’t recall anything like this when she grew up in Siparia in the 1950s and 60s, but that doesn’t matter. We all love it. I’ve made a couple variations for a slow cooker with chicken thighs. One thing you cannot substitute though, is that Trinidad scorpion, not even with a Habanero pepper. We have a ripe scorpion ready to be picked, so that means it’s time to make this delicious curry again. I’ve been meaning to leave a comment every time we make this, glad I remembered this time. Cheers from down under!
    Damon

    • Reply
  • It’s funny how the islands have the same recipes and call them their own this was the curry I was brought up on. My father was from St Vincent.

    • Reply
  • This recipe is amazing! So simple but so very flavourful! I made mine in the Instant Pot and used chicken breasts; also added potatoes and 1.5 cups water total (along with 2 tsp chicken broth concentrate paste)… Turned out sooooo good. Will make again. Thanks a lot for the recipe!

    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed this recipe! I love it with potatoes as well. Yum!

  • 5 stars
    It was awesome. Thanks for the very good Recipe. Im going to cook it again .I love this

    • Reply
    • 5 stars
      I have been making curry chicken for my Trinidad born husband for years and despite him telling me how good it was, I could see the difference from mine to when it was prepared by his Trinidadian family. Though I used recipes from authentic Caribbean sites, they were never “authentic” in my view and I never understood why.

      Enter this recipe. I made this version using a whole chicken cut into the properly sized pieces and it was the most amazing curry I ever made or tasted. It was truly authentic and I cannot wait to make it for my husband’s family after COVID no longer separates us from our loved ones. The flavor and sauce were spot on, the gravy was perfect served with the roti, and the chicken was flavorful and tender. I nearly licked my plate. The only thing I changed was the exclusion on the chilies due to my younger children. Even my luckiest eater loved the dish.

      I am so grateful that I found this recipe and I am truly appreciative and grateful to you for sharing this amazingly delicious recipe. You are truly gifted and I cannot thank you enough. I hope everyone who tries this recipe appreciates the simplicity of the recipe, and the amazing outcome that I am sure will be added to their recipe rotation.

      I look forward to trying many more of your recipes. A million thank yous for raising my curry chicken game! 🙂

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this recipe!!! It looks so good, I’m risking the chiles!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Looks very authentic Steve good job

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe. To make it my own 😀 I add potatoes and chick peas. I also use coconut milk or coco creme instead of water.

    • Reply
  • Hi Steve,
    Now I am Trini and have never seen any of my family cook curry chicken from a paste! Interesting and def worth the try, we use coconut milk and potatoes in ours which I don’t see you using here.. I am curious when you refer to cilantro, are you using west Indian cilantro (shadow beni) or the North American version which I find doesn’t have that beautiful smell at all and can be hard to find.

    Thanks for the recipe

    • Reply
  • Hi there,

    Can I make up the curry paste and keep in the fridge until I choose to use it?

    • Reply
    • I am sure the paste should be fine in the fridge for a couple days.

      • Reply
  • Could you use chicken broth instead of water or would it be to much?

    • Reply
    • The broth should work just fine. I would taste it before you add the salt since there is probably some salt already in the broth.

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I’ve been cooking all my life and this was one of the best curry dishes I have made.I omitted the salt,just because, but the flavour is so deep no one noticed. I capped it off with homemade roti! Perfect! I’ll make this one of my go to’s.

    • Reply
    • Share the home made roti recipe please!

      • Reply
  • 4 stars
    Inspiration 🤩🙌🏼✨

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    This was INCREDIBLE!! Super simple to make, I used thighs instead of drumsticks and it was absolutely delicious. This is definitely be something I will be making regularly. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much for the kind words. So glad you like the recipe.

      • Reply
      • 5 stars
        Made it for the time for Christmas dinner. My go to recipe for curry. (I am Guyanese. Lol)

        • Reply

Subscribe to the newsletter and never miss a recipe!