A New Year also means pigeon peas, these wonderful legumes make their way to the market in December and usually last through to March. I enjoy fresh or frozen peas all year round.
Pigeon peas are versatile and we do use them in a myriad of ways here, from rice dishes to soups to burgers, I also enjoyed them once in a veggie lasagna. When buying peas at the market look for plump pods with the peas bursting out, small peas and those pesky worms are usually a sign of second crop peas, which are not as lovely as first crop.
1 31/2 lb chicken, cut into pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion sliced
2 pimento peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tbs green seasoning paste
1 tbs chopped celery leaves
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 cup French thyme
4 tbs tomato ketchup
1 tsp salt
2 tbs veg oil
2 tbs brown sugar
2 cups pigeon peas, cooked
1/2 cup chopped pumpkin
2 cups parboiled rice
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups water
Wash chicken well with lime, drain.
Rub on garlic, herb marinade, add fresh herbs, sliced onion and pepper, vinegar, black pepper and some salt, and ketchup cover and marinate for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.
Heat oil add sugar and caramelise to a dark brown colour, add chicken pieces one at a time turning well to colour each piece, add the rest of seasonings.
Cook uncovered until chicken starts to release its juices, about 5 minutes.
Add pigeon peas and pumpkin, stir. Lower heat and cook for about 10 minutes, covered.
Add rice and stir well.
Cover and simmer until cooked, about 20 to 30 minutes turning occasionally.
Adjust salt and serve
Pigeon pea patties with parsley and thyme
1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tbs fresh thyme
1 tbs chopped chives
1/2 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large potato boiled, peeled and crushed
1 lb pigeon peas, cooked
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
Heat olive oil in a frying pan and sauté onion, garlic, thyme, chives and hot pepper, for about one minute, remove and add to potato, mix well, add peas and season with salt. Add parsley. Form mixture into about 8 patties and shallow fry in more olive oil.
Pigeon pea piononos
2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced lengthways into four strips
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 egg lightly beaten
For the filling:
1 lb pigeon peas
1 small green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs fresh thyme
2 small tomatoes, skinned and chopped finely
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large frying pan heat vegetable oil and fry plantains until golden brown on either side, about seven minutes.
Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Meanwhile heat olive oil, add onion, garlic and pepper sauté until fragrant, add pigeon and cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
Add tomatoes, thyme and bread crumbs. Add Worcestershire sauce.
Fold in beaten egg and season to taste. The mixture should just come together when stirred.
Curve the plantain slices into rings and secure with toothpicks.
Place the plantain rings into a buttered baking dish and preheat oven to 375F.
Fill the rings with the pea mixture and sprinkle with any unused breadcrumbs.
Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes until the top is crusty. Serve hot.
Makes 12 piononos.