Sometimes a shopkeeper has to go to great lengths to get proper time off, to get their little emporium covered. Mr
Bajan food is a beguiling mix of Africa and India and the Caribbean. This recipe is a similar jumble – of all the lovely flavours that we sampled on our trip.
Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips of 5cm/2in in length. Mix the garlic, spices, chilli, oregano, lime juice and zest and oil together in a bowl. Add a little salt and toss the chicken strips in, turning them over so they become well coated in marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge for an hour or so (or marinate for just 30 minutes at room temperature).
Meanwhile, drain the soaked beans, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer in unsalted water for about 45 minutes, or until cooked without being mushy. Drain and allow to cool.
When you are ready-ish to assemble your salad, preheat the grill. Shake the chicken so that any surplus marinade slides off, then grill the strips for around 6 minutes, turning once or twice. Keep warmish.
Mix the peas with the jicama, onion and mango, then stir the herbs through the mix. Next, use a sharp knife to remove the skin and pith from half of the lime. Discard any pips and chop the rest of the flesh into the salad (if you don’t like things too sharp, you can omit this bit and just use the juice in the dressing instead).
Squeeze the other half of the lime into a bowl, and whisk in the olive oil, pepper sauce and salt to taste, before trickling it over the beans. Serve the still-warm chicken on top. Steamed white rice or some good bread would render this dinner rather than supper.
* Gungo Peas
Also known as pigeon peas, these tasty pulses are a feature of Caribbean cuisine. All beans make me happy, but pigeon peas are particularly full of tryptophan, which is a mildly mood-enhancing amino acid. If you can’t source them, black beans also work well in this recipe.
** Hmm. Jicama
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