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
26 reviews
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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.

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84 comments

  • My mom is from Trinidad and this recipe is so close to what she made us growing up. She would add in chickpeas and potatoes. Great recipe that reminded me of home 🙂

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  • 5 stars
    I have tried making quite a few curry chicken recipes but this was the best. My kids were like this is it mom, this taste like the real thing.

    • Reply
    • Thanks! So glad you all enjoyed it.

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  • lovely

    • Reply
  • Yes I did it was good.

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  • 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! I also grew up with Trinidadian Curry Chicken. I never learned how to make it. I was looking for a recipe that was like my childhood memories. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    This recipe is great! Every piece of chicken was seasoned and so tasty. Will be making again.

    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it!

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  • Would coconut milk go well with this?

    • Reply
    • I haven’t tried it with this curry chicken, but I do love coconut milk with curry. If you try it, I would love to hear how it turns out!

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I made this today but I used shallots instead of onions, mixed red and yellow curry powders and added a little cornstarch and cold water to thicken and it came out scrumptious! Thank you!!

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  • 5 stars
    Great recipe but is there a reason there’s no salt? I’ve made it twice and added salt both times.

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  • Ever used boneless chicken breasts for this recipe?
    I feel like if cooked low and slow they would still turn out great

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  • 5 stars
    I made this yesterday for my 84 year old parents – and we all LOVED it! Thank you for this great recipe! ?

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  • I have made this recipe on several occasions and it is one of my favorites. I just wanted to thank you for sharing it. I have had it pinned via Pinterest and have finally taken the time to actually print it. Oh, and the 80’s Rock!! If only kids today know how much they have missed by being plugged in.

    • Reply
  • I just got back from Barbados and bought some curry powder from a sweet lady at the market. It is more of a red curry but I am going to try this recipe with it anyway. Trinidad and Barbados are close right…………so it’s gotta work ahaha;)

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    What if I dont have a food proccessor?? Can i still make it?

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    • Do you have a blender that you could use to pulse and make that curry paste?

      • Reply
  • I’m making this right now and I think I put a little too much water. How do I thicken the sauce?

    • Reply
    • Can you just let it simmer uncovered for a bit? It will thicken. You could add some corn starch or maybe a bit of flour

      • Reply
  • I’m cooking for about 15-20 people do I just double the ingredients? Can I use​ chicken stock instead of water

    • Reply
    • You can definitely double the recipe. Depending on the size of your skillet or Dutch oven, you may need to cook them in two separate skillets. And yes chicken stock will work just fine!

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    So delicious. Made this today added like 4 thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf into the the curry while cooking. Best curry recipe i ever came across, thank you.

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    Made from chicken first time. Just Love it!!!
    Making now using turkey drumsticks.

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  • 5 stars
    Great recipe Steve just like my dads

    • Reply
    • Awesome! So glad you enjoyed it!!

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  • Hi, Steve! How can I make the curry sauce mild? I love curry but my family and I are not fans of spicy food. We can take a little heat but not too much.

    • Reply
    • Hi! So, in the recipe it says to use 1 hot pepper. While a scotch bonnet or habanero gives a lot of heat, you could use a pepper that is not as spicy. A jalapeño pepper might be a good choice as it will a small amount of spice but not be overly hot. If you want even less spice, you could use a poblano or green bell pepper. Hope this helps!!

      • Reply

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