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It’s day “I don’t know” and we still haven’t been able to go out to eat; with this being hubby’s first Father’s Day, I opted to make one of his favorite dishes: Pelau. I don’t have a lot of experience making this but I have had a version of this once or twice and neither of those times yielded a perfect Pelau.

Today will make the 3rd time and once again, it’s not perfect but it was still tasty.

Pelau is a rice and chicken dish, this particular version is Trinidadian, which is where my husband’s family is from. It contains brown sugar and coconut milk; almost like a carribean arroz con pollo. I am listing the recipe as is but will add my modifications for next time. It came out very mushy – still tasty but will def add less liquid next time.


Found the recipe from The Spruce Eats here:

  • 3 pounds chicken thighs (and/or drumsticks, cut up into large pieces) 2lbs chicken legs and thighs
  • 2 tablespoons green seasoning  sofrito
  • 2 teaspoons grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or canola oil)
  • 3 tablespoons cane sugar (can substitute for brown sugar) brown Sugar
  • 2 cups rice (washed, drained and parboiled) long grain rice 
  • 3/4 cup onions (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sweet peppers (chopped)
  • 2 cups cooked pigeon peas (canned is fine) soaked green lentils
  • Optional: 1 cup carrots (diced)
  • 2 cups fresh canned coconut milk (dilute milk with water if using canned coconut milk)
  • 2 cups 3/4 cup cooking liquid (stock, water or reserved cooking liquid from peas)
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (white and green parts)

At leaset 20200621_133040

At least 1 hr before cooking, combine chicken with sofrito, garlic, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper in a bowl or sealed bag and let marinate. I marinated mine overnight.

When ready to cook, I find its easier to have all ingredients ready to go since so much needs to be monitored while you’re cooking.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium- high heat. Get the oil nice and hot and add the sugar. For this part, you want to almost burn the sugar and look for it to be foamy with dark edges. Once the sugar is browned and foamy, add the chicken. The chicken should make a loud sizzling sound and you should brown the chicken for 10 minutes over the medium- high heat.

Add rice, onions, peppers, carrots and peas and fold to combine – about 5 minutes.

Add cooking liquid and coconut milk and bring to boil. Let boil for 3-5 minutes, cover, and reduce heat to low. Allow rice to soften for 35- 40 minutes.

20200621_133109My rice had too much liquid in it so it was really mushy – like risotto. I tend to like my rice a little fluffier so the choice is yours. If you like risotto style rice, the recipe from The Spruce Eats tastes great. I tweaked it so next time it will be fluffy. When cooking rice, you can always add more water but you can’t “fix” mushy rice.

20200621_135223Hubby enjoyed it and there were enough leftovers for the following day- it tastes even better on day 2.