Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Mock Manicoo Pelou (contributed by Susan Toy of Bequia)

Peanut oil
1/2 cup sugar
6 chicken legs, separated into drumstick and thigh
4 large onions, chopped
4 large heads of garlic, minced
3 tbs ketchup
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs Caribbean curry powder
1/2 cup green seasoning
Hot sauce to taste
2 chicken bouillon cubes, crumbled
2 cups green or brown lentils
1-½ to 2 cups long grain rice
In a large, heavy pot over high heat, add oil (don’t use your best pot). When oil is very hot, but not smoking, add sugar all at once in the centre of the oil. Do not stir, no matter how much you may want to! The sugar and oil will bubble like a volcano, caramelizing the sugar, a process know as "bun-bun" that gives the pelau its distinctive taste. Let bubble and burn until it becomes dark.
Add chicken. Stir until chicken is well-coated with the bun-bun, scraping up all the burned bits on the bottom.
When chicken is coated, add onion, garlic, ketchup, salt, curry powder, green seasoning and hot sauce. Stir well. Add water to cover, along with the bouillon cubes and lentils. Stir and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer until chicken is very tender, about an hour to an hour and a half. The pot can sit off the heat until you are almost ready to eat, then bring it to a boil again and stir in the rice and more water if necessary; simmer about 20 to 30 minutes until the rice is cooked and all the moisture absorbed. Serves 6 people.

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