Wednesday, March 12, 2008


An example can be made in chicken preparation. Chicken is a favourite food and is cooked in many ways in Trinidad, all of which are delicious and will change the way many people feel about "boring chicken".

Try to purchase a chicken with giblets. Supermarkets certainly in Britain do not give giblets as a rule. Sainsburies is the exception. Giblets, particularly the neck and liver are delicacies of the meal, that children and adults in Trinidad fight over.

In these days of Salmonella and factory chickens it is may not be wise (however tasty) to use giblets. I now try always to buy free range chickens.

The chicken should be skinned and then cut up. The feet below the knuckle are cut off as are the wing tips and the parsons nose and thrown away with the skin. The drumstick and thighs can be cut in two with a cleaver as would be the back (into three). At the end of the process you will have a pile of meat cut into pieces to roughly match the size of half the thigh.

As you cut the pieces examine them for blood clots etc, and carefully remove, also scrape the inside of the chickens body carefully removing as much as possible of the very dark meat and bits.

Take a bowl and put the chicken in the bowl, cut a large lemon in two and lightly crush one half over the chicken. Using your hands work the lemon juice into the chicken. Then add some water, rinse around and drain. Squeeze the rest of the lemon onto the chicken and leave to rest for a while before draining and rinsing again. The lemon juice has the effect of cutting the fat and provides another dimension to cleansing the bird.

Take your seasoning and put about two generous tablespoons onto the chicken. Add one or two tomatoes from a tin, salt and pepper and about a tablespoon of soy sauce. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

Leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as possible, even overnight if necessary, although half a day is sufficient. You now have "seasoned" chicken, ready to use in several recipes.


In England cooking fish Caribbean style is difficult as English fish are generally not usable. In the USA the situation is better as snapper and yellow jacks etc are usually in most fish sections at the market.

In London, Brixton is the only area which regularly sells fresh fish that match Caribbean needs. Get red fish, or snapper, perhaps one of the nicest is Jamaican fresh water snapper, which is orange with black marks. Another favourite is St Peters fish.

Mullet would be the nearest European fish, round white fish being rare. Most European round fish are oily like mackerel. But Mullet is not good, it is black inside and does not taste well. The Chinese use sea bass, and that will work for all the recipes.

The fish must be washed thoroughly and then scaled. All fins as well as the tail and head should be removed. The inside of the fish should be gently scraped.

Proceed with the lemon as described for chicken.

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