Recipe for Chicken Croquettes with Curry and Plantain

Chef’s Notes

This recipe is the perfect blend of two classic Jamaican dishes: fried ripe plantain and chicken curry. I modernized both and put them in one delicious bite. Pair it with a delicious aioli and you have the perfect dish for entertaining.

Technical tip: If the plantain mixture is too soft/sticky, add a little flour to the mixture to make it easier to work with.

Possibility of exchange: You can use sweet potato instead of plantain or regular potato if you like (add more flour to this mixture). For vegetarians, you can use green jackfruit (canned) instead of chicken.

Preperation

For the chicken curry:

1.

In a bowl, season the chicken with 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tbsp curry powder, 1/2 onion, 1/2 green onion, ginger, garlic, Scotch bonnet sauce, allspice , 1 sprig of thyme, salt, pepper and chicken broth. Massage the seasonings into the chicken until the pieces are evenly coated. For best results, let the chicken marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

2.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil and 1/2 tbsp curry powder. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Once the oil is frothy and the curry has darkened slightly, add the chicken to the pan. Cover and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.

After the chicken has cooked in its own juices for about 15 minutes, add the water, remaining sprig of thyme, onion and green onion. Increase the heat to medium-high, cover and cook an additional 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Spread the chicken with a fork and let cool.

For the scotch bonnet aioli:

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.

For the plantains:

1.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the plantain in the skin.

2.

Peel and mash the plantain with a potato masher or potato masher.

3.

Season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and chopped parsley.

To assemble:

1.

Portion the plantain, roll into balls and flatten, put a ball of chicken in the middle and shape the plantain around the chicken.

2.

Bread with flour and egg then panko. Double-bread if necessary to ensure there are no gaps in the breading.

3.

Heat a pan with a few inches of vegetable oil in the bottom to 325 F.

4.

Fry the plantain balls in oil until golden brown. Serve with a dip.

Michael M. Tomlin