Belize - Stewed Chicken w/ Rice and Beans
Oh. My. Goodness. This was a TRUE delight. Originally, I was going to just make the chicken stew and serve with white rice, but I’m so glad I decided to make the rice and beans. I want to say the chicken is the star, but I’m having such a hard time confidently saying that. Anytime I want to say the chicken is amazing, I go back to thinking about the rice.
I soaked the kidney beans for about 4 hours, and then simmered with sliced onions and spices for about an hour to soften it. Then, simmered that with extra water as needed, rice and coconut milk. Absolutely delicious and this might have to be my go to for rice as a side. Truly amazing.
But don’t get me wrong, this chicken. Wow, so tender. The meat was literally falling off the bone. Might I recommend even pulling the chicken off the bone and mixing it with a bowl of the rice and beans. Hands down, this is going to be a “make again” dish.
3-4 lbs chicken thighs and drumsticks
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp red recado (sub 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp oregano, 1 minced garlic clove, ½ tsp cumin)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup water
Rice and beans
1 cup kidney beans, soaked overnight
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp thyme
2 cups rice
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
Note: I highly suggest you start the rice and beans first before you start the chicken. The beans will have to boil for about an hour before they are tender enough to simmer with the rice.
Wash the chicken and pat dry. Place in a mixing bowl and mix with lime juice, recado, salt and pepper, thyme, cumin, and cilantro. Mix thoroughly and let it sit for about 30 minutes to let the flavors absorb.
In a big pot over medium-high heat, add the oil. When it starts to shimmer, add the brown sugar and give it a stir. Stir continuously for about a minute or two until it is melted and turns darker in color. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute, making sure to stir it around. Add the ginger. If you don’t want finely chopped pieces of ginger in your dish, then use a whole piece instead, and remove it after frying.
Add the chicken and sear on all sides. You might have to work in batches. I did, but once you seared all the chicken, place it back in the pot. Add the chopped onions, bell pepper, tomato, and about 1/2 cup of water.
Reduce the heat to about medium, cover, and let it simmer for an hour. Give it a stir periodically and add more water if it is evaporating too fast. The chicken will be delicious, tender, and fall right off the bone.
Rice and Beans
When you’re ready to work, drain the kidney beans that have been soaking overnight. Put it in a medium to big pot over medium-high heat. Also add the garlic, sliced onions, and bring to a boil. Let it go for about an hour, uncovered. Feel free to add more water if the water is evaporating too fast.
Once again, drain the beans while making sure to reserve one cup of the bean broth. In the same pot of beans, season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Add 2 cups of rice, reserved 1 cup of broth, 2 cups of water, and 1 cup of coconut milk. Give it a good stir and let it come to a mid-boil. Once it does, cover the pot, lower the heat to low, and let it go for about 20 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the pot from the heat, and let it sit for 5 minutes before you take off the lid.
After 5 minutes, fluff the rice. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Belize Travel Blog.