Caribbean Pepper Pot with Chicken and Shrimp
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to season chicken
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 cup canned chopped tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth, low-sodium canned or homemade
- 1 bunch kale (about 1/2 pound), stemmed, leaves chopped
- 2 thick sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and sliced into 3/4-inch half-moons
- 4 ounces fresh okra, trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Scotch bonnet chile, pierced (if you like it very spicy, mince it) *see Cook's Note
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/3 cup light coconut milk
- 8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry, and season with some salt and pepper. Add the chicken, smooth side down, to the pan and cook until brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the onion and garlic to the pot, and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the allspice and tomatoes and cook until the juices are almost evaporated. Add the chicken broth, kale, sweet potatoes, okra, bay leaves, the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, Scotch bonnet, and thyme. Bring the liquid to a boil, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and the shrimp and simmer until the shrimp turn pale pink and are firm but not tough and rubbery, about 2 minutes. Ladle the stew into warm bowls and serve.
*Cooks' Note: Not for the faint of heart, Scotch bonnets are about as fiery as a chile gets. If you can't find one, substitute a habanero.
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