Souse- The Bahamas
It’s the first recipe in the Bs! It took me a while to get around to this one. I kept getting distracted by things like ‘the sauce’. We should get something out of the way: Souse isn’t as photogenic as, say, dandelion green pesto or double chocolate chip cookie pancakes. It’s delicious, what it lacks in the looks department, it certainly makes up for in the taste department.
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (not shown)
2 small onions
10 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
3 cups water (not shown)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (not shown)
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
Let’s start by making the marinade for the chicken! Juice three of the limes.
If you’re cool and have upper body strength, squeeze them by hand, if you’re me, use a citrus reamer. Save the squeezed limes, we’ll need them later. Pour in the oil,
and then dump in all the spices.
A pinch of salt is good at this point, so don’t take my instructions with a pinch of salt. That was horrific. Next, peel half the garlic. You can do it the old fashioned, genteel way by peeling it with a paring knife, or you can grab a wooden spatula or chef’s knife (or your fist, if you’re really hardcore) and smash it.
Dump the garlic cloves into the marinade, whole.
Now throw the chicken in, stir it a bit so the chicken gets coated, and then throw in the squeezed limes!
No one who eats Souse will have any trouble with scurvy or vampires. Cover it, and let it marinade for 1-2 hours. Any longer than that and you risk making the surface of the chicken mushy, from all the acid. Prep the vegetables next- when I’m working with vegetables that need to be peeled, like the onion, potatoes, carrots, and garlic I’m using today, I like to cover the cutting board with a paper towel, and use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots and potatoes onto the paper towel, and then peel the onion and garlic into it.
That way, all I have to do is fold up the paper towel and throw it away. Or you could throw it on a compost heap, if you don’t have the same aversion to sunlight and gardening that I do. Slice the carrots into rings, mince the garlic, and slice the onion and potatoes into chunks.
Throw them all into a Dutch Oven if you’ve got one, or any other heavy, flat bottomed pot.
Add in some oil and salt for moisture and flavor, and be sure to keep it on high heat. You just want to sear them, as they’ll be stewing later. Next, chop about half the cilantro, and get the juice of 1 ½ more limes.
Throw in the squeezed limes, juice, and half the cilantro. Stir it around so everything’s coated in cilantro.
I love using cilantro. It just makes everything look so pretty! Now throw in the chicken, marinade and all, but be sure to remove the limes that were in the chicken and throw them away. Or onto a compost heap. But those were with raw chicken. Does that matter with soil? I’m not the most knowledgeable about things concerning the outdoors. Anyways! Throw in the cilantro left from when you sliced it, stir it in, and pour in three cups of water, a pinch more salt, and a dash of sugar.
Now put the lid on, and walk away for 55 minutes. Put a pot of rice on about 30 minutes after you put the lid on. You’ll come back to this!
The water and marinade have reduced, the chicken has been braised, and the vegetables are soft, but not mushy. Yum. I don’t care if it’s a cliche to say that on a cooking blog. It’s yummy, and I don’t care who knows it. To serve, spoon (or fork, I don’t judge. Is forking a verb?) some rice into a bowl, heap some Souse on, and top it all with a bunch of fresh cilantro! This is one heck of a lunch. Or dinner. Or breakfast. Or snack. Bottom line, it’s good!
Here’s the printable recipe, with ingredients and instructions: Souse- The Bahamas