Peppers of all kinds – red and green bell, Scotch bonnet, habanero, and others – are staples of Liberian cuisine. This recipe combines two varieties to add surprising depth to this Liberian favorite.
Chicken Gravy can be found as a part of the Liberian Thanksgiving celebration on the first Thursday of November. It’s generally considered to be a day for Liberians to give thanks for their freedom and the founding of their country. Like in the United States, people gather for a special meal, as well as concerts and dancing.
Liberian Chicken Gravy- Peppered Chicken and Shrimp
- Large heavy skillet
- Food Processor or blender
- 6 Chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp Black pepper
- ½ tsp Onion powder
- ½ tsp Garlic powder
- ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 large Onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, peeled
- 1 large Tomato, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup Fresh basil or parsley
- 1 cube Chicken bouillon
- 2 medium Habanero pepper, stemmed (or another hot chili)
- 2 tbsp Olive or vegetable oil
- 3 oz Tomato paste
- 1 cup Chicken stock
- large Red bell pepper, sliced very thin
- ½ cup Fresh green beans, cut into 3 pieces
- 12 oz Large shrimp, cleaned
- Marinate Chicken – Mix together marinade ingredients in a seal-top plastic bag. Add chicken thighs and massage chicken to ensure everything is coated. Let sit 30 minutes.
- Make Sauce – Meanwhile, puree onion, garlic, bullion cube, fresh herbs, 1 chili pepper, and tomato in a food processor or blender. Preheat oven to 425°F (220C). Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add shrimp and cook until pink and translucent, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Once pan is very hot again, add chicken skin-side down. Cook, undisturbed, until the skin turns golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Transfer chicken skin-side up onto a plate, leaving juices behind.Lower heat to medium and stir tomato paste into the juices in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally until it become fragrant and darkens, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the pureed ingredients and cook 5 minutes more. Add chicken stock and cook another 2 minutes to incorporate the flavors. Stir in bell pepper, other chile pepper, and green beans. Nestle chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down.
- Bake Chicken Gravy – Place skillet in the oven and bake until sauce gets a slushy texture, 30 to 35 minutes.To serve, transfer chicken thighs to a serving platter. Sprinkle shrimp over and then top everything with the sauce. Serve with rice.