At least three times a week my mom would wake up early to make a Palau so we’d have lunch ready when we got home from school, there would be enough for my friends to have some too. I would season the meat for the next meal and she’d prepare it at five AM for our lunch. Palau is a one-pot rice, chicken and peas dish popular in the Caribbean with African roots.
- Chicken Thighs, drumstick & wings – bone in
- Lentils ( I used red lentils but brown is what my mom would use)
- Browning (Molasses Food coloring)
- Coconut Milk
Season your meat:
Onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, seasoning sweet pepper, Sazon, Adobo, Pepper, tomato, 1 tsp oil (season to your taste)
Let it sit marinating for at least two hours, most Caribbean cooks would do this the day before.
We usually use medium grain white rice for this dish, feel free to also use basmati rice. Wash your rice until the water runs clear. This washes the loose starch from the rice grains and sometimes dirt off your rice. Clean and purify your rice.
Rinse your lentils and put aside.
- Chicken Thighs, drumsticks and Wings
- Vegetable Stock
- Coconut milk
Saute’s your seasoned chicken in a deep pot (This is a one pot dish so make sure your pot can hold all your ingredients). Add your Carrots, and you can make this your own by adding other vegetable that you like in a one pot dish.
Add Browning to the sauted seasoned chicken, Because no one likes a light colored Palau, it has to be dark brown.
Add your Lentils and 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock. All the chicken to simmer/stew until the chicken is cooked, then add 1 cup of coconut milk. Make sure you don’t let the sauce dry out because you will be cooking your rice in the Stew sauce. Taste the stew sauce and adjust it to your liking. You may want to add more salt or more water. You want at least 2 cups of stew sauce before you include your rice. Caribbean cooking is never an exact science to add water ore more seasoning if you feel the need.
Add 1 cup of white rice, mix in, and put the palau on low simmer until the rice absorbs the liquids and is cooked, cook time varies on choice of rice and thickness of your pot, so keep an eye on it; keep checking to softness of the rice or the absence of the stew liquid. You want to make sure your rice is not over cooked, but still not crunchy either. Add a dab of butter to your Palau for flavor, mix it in with a fork. This will also loosen the rice.
You should end up with This
In the Caribbean we love having ketchup/tomao sauce on our Palau, and we have been know to serve it with coleslaw.
Have a Try and make it your own.