Zelma's Jamaican Curry and Coconut Rice and Beans

I don't even know where to begin with the story of how this dish came to be. I guess it is a testament to the power of the Internet. Via the Internet so many things, good and bad, have been made possible in my life. Thankfully mostly good.
I have learned a lot, gotten jobs, found old friends, found my husband (through a hacker actually), and perhaps most importantly I have met new people.
Recently, due to the magic of social media I have been in contact with 90's pop icon Zelma Davis! As the lead female vocalist in the hugely popular C+C Music Factory, she rose to stardom with mega hits like "Things That Make You Go Hmmm" and "Just a Touch of Love" Check out one of my favorite videos; 
When I was younger I had a HUGE crush on her, and as an adult I was so blown away when she commented on one of my food posts. It made my year! Turns out she is a bit of a food enthusiast too, and on a whim last week I asked if she would like to share a recipe with The Best Food Blog, and she did! 
Mrs. Davis checked in with her family to see what they thought was her best recipe, and came back to me with this crazy delicious curry dish.
With Zelma's creative twists, and my necessary alterations I would like to introduce you to Zelma's Jamaican Curry Chicken!
Here is what you'll need!
12 Chicken Drumsticks (I used boneless skinless thighs because the drumsticks at Whole Foods were not looking too good)
2 bell peppers. (Zelma called for 1 green and 1 red. P2 and I like the yellow and orange, so I switched them up)
6 table spoons of Jamaican Curry Powder. (I used hot)
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves
a bunch of Cilantro
a teaspoon of fresh ginger
8 carrots chopping into large pieces
2 chicken bullion cubes (or one box of chicken broth if you are like be and forgot to get bullion at the store)
Flour for dredging the chicken (seasons with salt and pepper)
Black Pepper
Olive oil
Rice (Zelma suggests using a rice cooker. I don't own one, but I would recommend it too!)
one can of Black Beans
1 1/2 cans of Coconut milk

Zelma's recipe called for all the veggies and the ginger to be minced in a food processor. Mine was not only broken, but was flying off of my shelf by some annoyed spirit in my kitchen. I stayed away from that particular gadget and used my knife. I diced the onion and garlic and I used a micro plane for the ginger. For the peppers I actually sliced them in long strips.
Once that was all set I heated my pot to medium high and added a few tablespoons of oil.
I dredged my chicken thighs in the flour and then, in a few batches, I browned them in the oil. You just want to get a nice golden color on the chicken. Don't cook it all the way through.
Once the chicken has all been seared, take them all out and drop all your veggies into the pot. Give them a little stir and after 2 or 3 minutes add the chicken back in. This is when you would add your bullion cubes that you have dissolved in about 4 cups of water, or if you you wanted you could add 4 cups of chicken broth. You want to fill the pot until the meat is covered. About 75% full (depending on the size of your pot). Bring the pot to a boil and add the curry powder and carrots. (These steps are different than the way Zelma suggests. I will post the real recipe at the end of this entry.) I let this simmer for about an hour until it got nice and thick. At this point the recipe called for adding half a can of the coconut milk, and some of the cilantro chopped. Continue to let it simmer.
While the curry is finishing, it is time to make your rice. Follow the box or bag's directions for making 4-6 servings. Add the beans into the pot to cook along with the rice. Just before the rice is fully cooked add a can of coconut and cook until the rice is finished and most of the milk is absorbed. Salt and pepper to taste. The same process would be used in the rice cooker as well.
Now you are all set to plate. The recipe states to transfer the rice into a bowl to mold it into a perfect half circle. Then invert the bowl onto a serving platter. Place the curry around the rice and some on top. Garnish with more cilantro. I did that on a more individual manor on plates. For the rice I used a one cup dry measuring cup.

This curry was SO good!!!! I ate until I was stuffed and couldn't fit any more in my belly.
If you like curry, this is a must!!
Below is the recipe as Zelma sent to me. Try it either way and I am sure you will be more than happy!!
Also, what was really great about this dish is that it is super affordable! My grocery bill for this whole meal was about $25. That is a steal for the amount of food this made! It is great choice for entertaining!

Thank you so much Zelma!!!! I am truly honored to have one of your recipes! I'd love more if you ever want to share again!

Enjoy everyone!!! And don't forget to add the love!!

XO - P

Here's the real recipe!
Curry Chicken/Coconut Rice and beans for 6

1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 large onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoons of fresh ginger
2 cans coconut milk
4 to 6 teaspoons of Jamaican curry powder
2 chicken bullion cubes
8 carrots chopped into large pieces
12 pieces of chicken drumsticks
2 cups of Rice
1 can of black beans
1 cup cilantro chopped

-Chop and blend bell peppers, onion, garlic and ginger in a food chopper. Set aside.

-Rinse the rice in warm water and drain. Place rice in cooker and add water per bag or boxes' instructions .Add beans and liquid and mix well. Start cooker. Cook on white rice setting.

-When rice is almost done and still has some liquid in it, add 1 can coconut milk and mix well. Cover and let it finish cooking.


-Fill large pot with water about 75 percent full. Place on stove on high heat.

-When water begins to boil, add chopped ingredients and 2 chicken bullion cubes, mix until cube dissolves.

-Rinse drumsticks and add to boiling ingredients in pot. Let this cook for about 45 minutes until chicken is very tender.

-Add carrots to pot.

- In a small cup mix curry powder with 1 cup of water, slowly add curry mix into pot, stir and cook till carrots are tender and liquid starts to thicken.

-Add half can of Coconut milk and stir. Let simmer for a few minutes, taste and add a pinch of black pepper and add salt if needed.

-Add half of cilantro.


Scoop some rice into a small round bowl. Push rice down into the bowl to insure that it makes a nice mound.

On a large white plate place bowl of rice upside down and let it fall onto plate. Rice should look like a mound on the plate.

Add curry, chicken and carrots around rice on plate. Add some curry on top of rice. Place cilantro on top rice and serve.


Carole said…
Have you tried doing Thai curries? I think that they are just wonderful when done right. I have blogged on making your own red curry paste. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/how-to-make-proper-red-curry-paste.html It is a bit of work but the results speak for themselves
Unknown said…
Sounds good quick and easy to make. My Jamaican chicken curry in my curry blog is a bit different,have a look at it. I love Jamaican curries.
Dave at--
How To Cook The Perfect Curry

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