This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.
It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 (3 pound chicken) cut into eighths, skin removed
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup pigeon peas, pinto beans, or black-eyed peas
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. green seasoning
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
5 scallions, stemmed and chopped (white and green parts)
2 cups long-grain rice
2 cups cubed fresh calabaza or butternut squash
1 small Scotch bonnet pepper, whole
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. butter
If using dried peas, soak the peas overnight in 3 cups of water. Drain and bring 3 fresh cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and add the peas. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the peas are cooked almost completely through. Drain the peas and set aside. If using canned beans, drain and rinse with cold water, drain again, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy, deep pot. Add the sugar and swirl it around in the pot. Allow it to caramelize to a dark brown color. Add the chicken and stir well to coat. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Wash the rice by placing the grains in a colander or fine-mesh sieve and running cold water over them until the water runs clear. Drain well and set aside.
Add the water, coconut, coconut milk, green seasoning, parsley, thyme, carrots and scallions to the chicken. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the rice, squash, peas, pepper, ketchup and butter. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the peas and vegetables are tender.
Remove the lid and fluff. The rice should be moist but not sticky.
Recipe from the book, Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago (Hippocrene Books, NY), by Ramin Ganeshram.