Growing up on the islands meant that whenever we got a fever mom would make us fever-grass tea. Basically we grew up associating being sick with this bush. Fast-forward years later and being new to Canada, I was blown away by this very same fever-grass. My cousin invited me to meet her in Toronto for lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant and things would never be the same again. From that day on I’ve been in love with fever-grass aka Lemongrass! Lemongrass chicken (grilled) on plain on steamed white rice, 30 years later and I still lovingly recall the dish.
3 lbs chicken (I used drumsticks)
1 1/2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1 medium tomato (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 habanero pepper (see notes)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 scallion (chopped fine)
6-8 sprigs thyme
3-5 sticks lemongrass (about 5 inches)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
2 cups water
Notes! Use any hot pepper you like or can source and in the amounts you can tolerate. With the lemongrass I removed the first layer of ‘skin’, then used the back (spine) of my knife to smash them (explained in the video below).
While I didn’t mention a lime or lemon (or 1/2 cup of vinegar) in the ingredient list, I did use the juice of the lime to wash the chicken drumsticks after I removed the skin off them, along with cool water. I know not everyone is comfortable washing chicken.
Season the chicken with everything except the water, thyme, lemon grass, scallion, parsley, oil and sugar. Give it a good mix, then allow it to marinate for at least one hour.
The browning step is best followed using the video below as I couldn’t pause to take pics as it happens very quickly. Heat the oil on a medium high flame in a deep heavy pot, then add the brown sugar and stir (explained in the video), it will melt, go frothy and then a deep amber. This is when you’ll add the seasoned chicken to the pot and stir to coat. In the video I explain why you may need to turn the fan on in your kitchen and why if the sugar goes black, STOP and do NOT continue.
Turn the heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 4 minutes. After-which remove the lid and burn off any liquid which may have sprouted naturally.
In the same bowl you marinated the chicken, swish around 2 cups of water to pick up any remaining marinade. This water now goes into the pot to fully cook the chicken. Add the thyme and lemongrass. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid slightly ajar.
20-25 minutes later it’s time to personalize things. Taste and adjust the salt to your liking, ensure the gravy’s consistency is on par to how you and your family enjoy and remove the pieces of thyme and lemongrass and into the rubbish. They’ve completed their mission.
Keep in mind that the gravy will thicken a bit as it cools and the residual heat in the pot will also assist in doing so. Toss in the parsley and scallion and mix. Turn off the stove.
An incredible way to add a new flavor to a classic Caribbean dish, in brown stew chicken. Feel free to add a teaspoon of grated ginger along with a bay leaf if you want. Serve with rice, roti, bread, ground provisions on any way you usually serve saucy chicken dishes. My fave.. on top of white cheddar mac and cheese.