A Jamaican Nite with friends and honoring Bob Marley’s birthday

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Ever since our trip to Jamaica exactly a year ago, I must have cooked Jamaican cuisine at least half a dozen times in my own kitchen. What’s not to love about Jamaican food eh? I recall vividly how we were in the home of one of the locals there, learning the right way to prepare curried goat and brown stew chicken.  I had not heard of the latter, but it too is a pretty popular dish in Jamaica, right there with jerk chicken, peas and rice, oxtail, etc.  It so happened that we had invited a few of our musician friends for dinner last weekend and a few days before, it was Bob Marley’s birthday, so a light bulb went on and I thought (how about a Jamaican menu celebrating this reggae icon’s birthday).  Did you know that Bob Marley spent a few years of his life right here in Wilmington, Delaware?  There’s an annual Peoples Festival honoring his life and legacy every summer which we try to attend.

An aromatic blend of spices is marinated with the chicken overnight, the chicken then browned, and slowly simmered in a fragrant sauce.  The pictures above show the prep work for the chicken as it marinates overnight.  Getting the plantains ready too for pan frying.  Best have a sous chef on hand for this delicious Jamaican meal, my trusty husband is always willing to oblige 🙂

Browning the chicken is an important step before adding it to the sauce.  When browning, make sure you leave the marinated veggies in the container, you do not want to brown them with the chicken pieces.

I added red and green peppers and additional scallions to the veggies when sauteing them.  We typically do not eat “hot and spicy”, so adjust the recipe according to your taste buds.

I slow cooked the chicken pieces for about an hour and a half rendering the brown gravy thick and tasty.

To go with all those scrumptious juices, we must have some rice and peas don’t you think?  Another Jamaican staple.

I sauteed some onion, scallions, garlic, kidney beans, thyme, long grain rice, stock and coconut milk.

There you have it, Brown Stew Chicken, served with Rice and peas in a coconut broth, Cabbage and peppers, Pan Fried Plantains, and for dessert, Cheesecake flan (not really a Jamaican dessert, I know).  Click on Brown Stew Chicken to get full details on the recipe. Did our friends enjoy this Jamaican meal?  You bet they did!  For me, it transported me back to that warm island with friendly people as we listened to reggae sounds during dinner.  Ya mon!

Now for some fun videos with reggae music.  Turn up the volume and dance 🙂

21 Replies to “A Jamaican Nite with friends and honoring Bob Marley’s birthday”

  1. Loretta, a fine meal that I think Nesta Robert would approve of. Brown Stew Chicken and Ackee and saltfish are my two most favorite Jamaican dishes. That flan you made looks lovely as well. I think you, hubby and guests had a wonderful Reggae evening.

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  2. Oh what fun! I daresay that of all the world cuisines I know least about Caribbean dishes, have never seen some of the ingredients combined there used thus elsewhere and truly want to learn more ! Even rice and beans together seems offbeat . . . but naturally can get all the ingredients including plantains and shall try the brown stew chicken soonest. Being a pretty expert Asian/African cook I could not live without spices in most everything . . . can take any degree of heat but that must never ever mask the flavour spectrum sought 🙂 !

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    1. Right on Eha! I hope you were able to try the brown stew chicken. I had never heard of that dish before going to Jamaica, but on googling it, it seems a pretty staple meal in Jamaican kitchens.

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    1. Thanks Balvinder, I hope you got to try it out. As for your question on the kidney beans, I sought a quick rice recipe, so I did not use the dried version of the kidney beans, instead I opened a can. But yes, if you do decide to do the dried, I’d soak it overnight and then cook them. Then add to the rice with other spices and coconut milk. It takes on the flavors that way.

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  3. Loretta,
    What a great touch to add the music as well…you took me back to the warmth of Jamaica- the people and the food! I was waiting for this recipe and will try it for sure.
    Hats off to your theme nights! Your friends are so lucky! I am jealous of them:)
    I like the peas and rice with coconut milk too! Yummy menu all around as flan is our favorite too.

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    1. Thanks Sandhya, yes I thought the music might’ve perked up the post and get everyone in the mood with the sounds of the Caribbean. 🙂 Yes, definitely love dinner nights with a theme – we hosted our 5th annual curry cook-off this past weekend. A post coming up soon hopefully 🙂

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      1. Cannot wait to read all about the Curry Cook Off! also admire how easily and often you host dinner parties. I have several groups of friends I need to invite and I have been dragging my feet 🙂

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      2. I think we need to slow down, age is catching up Sandhya, and with aches and pains in the kitchen, it doesn’t get to be fun anymore 🙂 But we do love breaking bread with friends. I wonder why so many SafarioftheMind posts are going to my junk mail? I found your response there.

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      3. Did you check the settings? I don’t know why they should change, really. Glad you found my comment. I know what you mean about aches and pains, my friend! It sure is a lot of fun breaking bread with friends and I like doing themes too.

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    1. Ha ha ha Julie, you figured me for a spice gal eh? 🙂 Love it 🙂 You’re right though, I do like a bit of spice and everything nice. Love jerk chicken too; give that brown stew chicken a try, it is not spicy but so flavorful, I’m sure John would love it.

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