Chicken pelau

Chicken pelau
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Ready in 45 minutes.

Trinidad’s signature mildly spiced dish of chicken pelau is a tasty one-pot meal, filled with Caribbean flavour.


  • 500g skinless, boneless thigh fillets
  • 1 tbsp chicken seasoning
  • 2 tbsp medium curry powder
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp golden granulated sugar
  • 300ml American easy-cook rice
  • 410g can black-eyed beans, drained


  1. Put the chicken into a large, shallow plastic container, ideally with a lid. Carefully stab a knife into each piece of chicken about 3 times. Use a measuring spoon to sprinkle the chicken seasoning and curry powder over the chicken, then use a fork to turn the chicken and cover in seasoning. Sprinkle with the soy sauce, chopped onion and crushed garlic. Run your thumb and forefinger down each thyme stem to remove the leaves, then add these to the chicken. Stir with a fork, cover tightly with a lid (if you have one) and gently shake it all together. You can put this into the fridge for a couple of hours if you want the chicken to be really full of flavour, although it’s fine to use it right away.
  2. Pour the oil into a 30cm frying pan, add the sugar and put over a medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Keep looking at the mixture, but don’t stir it. When it turns a mid-golden brown, it means the sugar has caramelised. Stand well back and ask an adult to quickly tip the chicken into the pan. Cover it with a lid, and don’t touch it for 5 minutes.
  3. Lift the lid, turn the chicken pieces over, cover and cook for another 5 minutes until a lovely, rich golden brown colour.
  4. Pour the rice into a measuring jug until it comes up to the 300ml mark, then tip into the pan. Pour 700ml cold water into the plastic container you used to season the chicken, then pour this into the pan, too. Cover and cook for 20 minutes over a gentle heat without lifting the lid.
  5. Tip the black-eyed beans into a sieve to drain, then add to the pan. Stir it all together, then cover and cook for 3 minutes to warm the beans through. It’s now ready to eat.


Fancy getting a copy in print?

Subscribe to our magazine

Rate & review



Read what others say...

Share a tip

Or, how about...?

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Midweek meal recipes

Chicken and egg fried rice

Chicken and eggs, along with a handful of store cupboard...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Comfort food recipes

Oven-roasted chicken satay

”This easy midweek dinner has all the flavours of satay,...

Save recipe icon Save recipe icon Save recipe

Chicken salad recipes

Griddled chicken rice salad

A rice salad is the perfect dish for summer, and...

Subscribe to our magazine

Food stories, skills and tested recipes, straight to your door... Enjoy 5 issues for just £5 with our special introductory offer.


Unleash your inner chef

Looking for inspiration? Receive the latest recipes with our newsletter

We treat your data with care. See our privacy policy. By signing up, you are agreeing to delicious.’ terms and conditions. Unsubscribe at any time.