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I posted about Belizean Stewed Chicken on Instagram, and one comment I received, from @trinidadfoodtours, is “stewed chicken is life!”
A bowl of stewed chicken, served along with some rice and beans, is absolute comfort food at its best. I cannot imagine going through life without being able to enjoy this most humble of combination of foods. So delicious and the food that so many enjoy because of its affordability and also its simplicity.
Visit to Belize in 2013
One of my most memorable and favorite trips over the last few years was our vacation to Belize. I had never been to Belize before, and wasn’t really sure what to expect. Whatever I had in mind, Belize blew away all my expectations. It was absolutely amazing!
One of the MOST Famous Belizean Foods – Stewed Chicken
I will write about the trip in another post, but for now want to concentrate on sharing with you a delicious recipe for stewed chicken, one of Belize’s most famous and favorite foods!
The Belizean stewed chicken is so so good. We were served it for dinner when we stayed at a small rustic hotel in Belize City called the Orchid Garden Eco-Village. I remember this dinner as one of my favorite dining experiences in Belize. We had just arrived at the hotel and it was pouring with rain! I think we were only one of two couples staying at the hotel, and the staff actually brought the meal to our room that evening. The meal included stewed chicken, rice and beans, and a couple other items which for the life of me I just cannot remember what they were but I know everything was delicious!
I made some Belizean stewed chicken the other night, and it was fabulous. The taste brought back so many memories of Belize and I’m happy to say I have so much left over to dine on and enjoy over the next couple of days!
Two essential ingredients in this particular recipe (which I adapted from my Flavors of Belize cookbook) are Goya Sazonador Total, and Belizean recado paste. This stuff is just so delicious!
Stewed Chicken – So Easy to Make and So Delicious!
All you will need to do to get this delicious taste of Belize, is marinade chicken with a combination of delicious spices, and then fry the chicken until golden brown. Add chicken broth to cover the chicken, along with some green pepper, cilantro and onions, and some diluted recado, and simmer for around 45 minutes to 1 hr.
You’ll want to serve this with some rice and beans for a true taste of Belize. 🙂
What is Recado Rojo?
Recado rojo is also known as achiote paste. It is a mix of spices made into a paste, and is used widely in Belizean and Mexican cuisines.
The spices generally include oregano, cumin, garlic, annatto, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon and clove. The paste is usually dissolved in a little water or vinegar, and then rubbed onto your meat of choice before grilling or frying. It can also be added to stews, and in this recipe I both use it as a marinade and add additional diluted recado to the stew.
An awesome option to use in this recipe is Marie Sharp’s Belizean Season All, which you can find on Amazon. Full disclaimer….I used a recado rojo that I purchased in Belize, but once I run out I am going to use Marie Sharp’s Belizean Season All! I am pretty much sold on this after reading the reviews and can’t wait to try it as a seasoning on all meats!
Substitutes for Recado Rojo
If you’d like to substitute for the recado, then you can use this recipe I found from Rachel Ray (make your own substitute): Easy Substitute for Achiote Paste in Recipes.
You may also try Achiote Rojo, which is an acceptable substitute for the red recado. The picture of the El Mexicano Achiote Rojo is what I found in the Latin foods section of my local grocery store. You can also purchase this on Amazon or other brands of achiote paste there as well.
I hope by now you may be excited at the prospect of cooking up some Belizean Stewed Chicken in your kitchen. Please give it a try! You might find that this will be a go to recipe for your family from now on because of all the yumminess!
I truly hope you will make this dish and please let me know what you think by commenting below.
Other Belizean Dishes You May Enjoy!
Belizean Stewed Chicken
- 4-5 lb chicken cut into serving sizes
- 10 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp Maggi chicken bouillon seasoning or other chicken bouillon seasoning of your choice
- 1 ts thyme use fresh thyme if you can
- 1 onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 tbsp Sazonador Total by Goya
- 3 tbsp olive oil plus extra for the marinade
- 1 ts brown sugar
- 2 tbsp red recado 1 tbsp diluted in warm water, plus 1 tbsp additional for marinade
- 1 quart chicken broth
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 small cilantro bunch diced (add at the end of cooking time)
- Mix the garlic, chicken bouillon, thyme, sazonador total, a little olive oil, and the recado rojo in a small bowl to make the marinade. Season the chicken all over with this marinade, and leave in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or preferably overnight.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan (cast iron if possible) and mix in the brown sugar, med high heat. When very hot, fry all the chicken on all sides until golden brown.
- Move the chicken to a stockpot or large saucepan or stockpot, and add just enough chicken broth to cover the chicken. If you don't have enough chicken broth, use additional water. You want the chicken just covered with liquid. Add the diced green pepper and diced onion, along with the diluted recado. Bring to the boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for around 45 minutes to 1 hr.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and then stir in your bunch of cilantro. If you like add additional sazonador total to taste.