Week 19. The Bahamas. John Canoe “Junkanoo” Chicken

The family are still in galavanting around New Zealand on the joint account so I’ve got a few of the guys round tonight.

It’s been a hectic few days creating and working on my Real Ale Cookbook.  I was highly optimistic in thinking it would be ready for Xmas, and it proves I was pushing it a bit, but we have 17 recipes complete, and photographed, so I’mthinking of doing a calendar. The calendar would have a recipe a page and an ‘ale of the month’. I would be very interested to know whether you think this is something which would be of interest. Would people hang a Ale Cooking Calendar on their kitchen wall if the pics look great and the recipes are fun, simple, and relevant to the month?  I think they might.

As my attention has been on the book, this weeks cooking task has really crept up on me. I drew The Bahamas on Monday but it wasn’t until Wednesday night that I could start looking into what to cook. As I looked at various recipes I found one ingredient appeared in many of the dishes which were specifically Bahamian and that was Conch.  Conch is a shellfish which looks similar to a Whelk or Sea Snail, but is much bigger. In Bahamain cooking Conch is diced and used by the cup full in stews, soups and often as fritters. I would have loved to have cooked Conch fritters, but they don’t sell much Conch in Twickenham high street, and whilst I could have used Whelks, it didn’t didn’t seem right. I searched on and found Junkanoo.

Say “John Canoe” in a mock West Indian accent.  Junkanoo! John Canoe was a slave master in the 17th century who banished any form of fun. When Junkanoo was away the slaves dressed up in colourful outfits and danced and sang. The Junkanoo festival now takes place every Boxing Day in The Bahamas to celebrate freedom from slavery. Junkanoo chicken is a Bahamian celebratory dish eaten on this day and as with the costumes of Junkanoo, is designed to be extremely colourful.

Review:

It wasn’t as hot as I would have hoped but that’s probably my fault. It was sweet as expected, but I messed it up a bit by using too much corn starch. The dish became a bit too glutanus and thick, but it didn’t damage the flavour. I absolutely understand why people would want to throw this down them whilst dancing away. It’s fun and jolly and the colours were great. I liked it. I might make it again if I’m ever feeling sad and want a bit of fun in my day.

Recipe:

Easy one this.

  • 2 Yellow Peppers
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 2 White Onions
  • 2 Corguettes
  • 3 Chillies
  • 1 Inch Sq of Ginger (Diced)
  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • Soy Sauce
  • Corn Starch
  • Vegetable Stock

Roast the chicken in the oven on its own and whilst doing this, in a large pot gently cook all of the vegetables. Seperately in a bowl, mix the corn starch with a little water, soy and a pint of stock. Whisk them together and then add the liquid to the vegetables. Once cooked, add the chicken to the rest of the ingredients and you are done. Serve with rice and or wraps.

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2 thoughts on “Week 19. The Bahamas. John Canoe “Junkanoo” Chicken

  1. I think a beer/recipe calendar would be great fun! This looks like a neat recipe– lots of good veggies. (I did have to Google “courgette” to see that it’s what I call zucchini.) 🙂

    • Ha ha. Sorry I am using my British vocabulary. This was a really lovely dish, but hold back on the corn starch. I made it very slimey!

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