Last Updated on May 20, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Sint Maarten – St. Martin is a unique Caribbean island under two different governments. One side of the island is Dutch and the other side is French. There is a lot of European influence on the island and there are many German and Italian restaurants, in addition to the local French creole cuisine that is so popular (similar to the cuisine of Dominica or Guadeloupe).
There is only one cookbook ever published on the unique fusion cuisine of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, which comprises the Dutch Caribbean. It was first published the year I was born. It is out of print and took a lot of research for me to acquire it and was so excited when I did to learn more about the extended Dutch Caribbean and not just Aruba and Suriname, where my Mom’s family is from. The cookbook is called Asina Nos Ta Cushina – This is the Way We Cook in Papiamento, the local fusion language we speak in Aruba & Curacao, a mixture of English, Spanish, Dutch, French and Portuguese. It includes recipes from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius & Sint Maarten. I’ve had to guard this cookbook fervently whenever my extended family comes to visit to safeguard the book finding its way into one of my aunts’ pocketbooks.
This is a special dish from the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, served at holidays and special occasions.
- 25 oz. boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 to matoes chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 onion chopped
- sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 3/4 cups water
- 1 1/3 cup rice
- 1/2 head small cabbage chopped
- a few dashes of hot sauce
- Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
- In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter.
- Add chicken and fry until golden brown.
- Add tomato paste and brown sugar. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add Worcestershire, celery, tomatoes, garlic and onion. Stir to combine.
- Add water and bring to a boil.
- Add rice and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until rice is cooked and liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes..
- In a skillet, melt remaining butter.
- Add cabbage and cook until softened, but still crisp.
- Adjust salt and pepper, as necessary.
- Add sauteed cabbage and hot sauce. Stir to combine.
- Serve with fried ripe plantain.
This is similar to the Pelau common on British islands, except for the use of Worcestershire is something unique in this version.
This is the perfect one pot dish and would be served with fried plantain – our all meal accompaniment – in the Caribbean.
Until you make it to the beautiful Caribbean island of Sint Maarten, you can at least enjoy your lunch – Sint Maarten style!
This meal can be easily adapted by Vegetarians by simply replacing the chicken with soy chunks.
This post is for the CC Challenge of the month
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