A classic dish from the Caribbean, full of big, spicy flavours for hearty appetites.
For the rice & peas, tip the beans into a pan, add 400ml/14floz water and boil for three minutes. Add the coconut milk, Scotch bonnet, spring onions and thyme, bring to the boil again and cook for five minutes.
Add the rice and, if necessary, a little extra boiling water so the rice is just covered. Put a lid on the pan and cook for 12–15 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
For the sauce, bring about 250ml/9fl oz water to the boil. Add the chopped onion, peppers and Scotch bonnet and boil for three minutes. Add the ketchup, gravy browning and sugar, then simmer for another three minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of water and add to the sauce to thicken. Stir thoroughly then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside in a warm place.
For the dumplings, stir the salt into the flour. Add water to make a dough and knead together well then shape the mixture into small balls. Heat the oil in a frying pan and shallow fry the dumplings for 2–4 minutes until golden then drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.
For the chicken, mix the plain flour with the garlic powder and seasonings in a bowl. Dip the chicken breasts into the mixture until well coated.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer or deep pan to about 170C/325F. The oil is hot enough when a cube of bread floats to the surface and turns golden-brown. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Never leave the pan unattended.)
Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, until cooked through and golden- brown. Drain on kitchen paper then serve with the rice and peas, sauce and dumplings.
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