"Bahamian Steamed Chicken on dark table with silver spoon"

Unlock the Secret to Perfectly Flavored Bahamian Steamed Chicken

Unlock the Secret to Perfectly Flavored Bahamian Steamed Chicken

If you’re a fan of Caribbean cuisine, then you want to take advantage of the secret to perfectly flavored Bahamian steamed chicken. This traditional dish is a true crowd-pleaser with bold flavors and a hint of spice. This recipe is excellent for a weeknight meal or when you’re fighting to get food on the table.  This is another dish that is a staple on my family’s table.  Yes, many of us Bahamian like “wet” food.

The key to this dish lies in the marinade. It is infused with fresh herbs, zesty citrus, and fiery spices. As the chicken steams or another word can be braising, all those aromatic flavors seep into the meat, resulting in tender, juicy bites that are simply irresistible.

Not only is Bahamian steamed chicken delicious, but it’s also a healthier alternative to fried chicken. Using the steaming method, you can enjoy all the flavors without adding calories and grease.

With this sensational recipe, prepare for a culinary journey to the Bahamas. Your taste buds will thank you!

"Bahamian Steamed Chicken with tomatoes"
Bahamian Steamed Chicken with tomatoes


What is Bahamian Steamed Chicken?

Bahamian steamed chicken is a traditional dish from the Bahamas that showcases Caribbean cuisine’s vibrant flavors and spices. It is a method of cooking chicken that is marinated in a flavorful blend of herbs, spices, and citrus juices and then steamed to perfection. This cooking technique ensures that the chicken remains tender and juicy, allowing it to absorb all the aromatic flavors of the marinade.

Steamed chicken is a popular dish in the Bahamas and is often served as a weeknight meal or needs something to feed the kids quickly. It is a true staple of Bahamian cuisine and is loved by locals.

The Importance of Flavor in Bahamian Cooking

The flavor is the heart and soul of Bahamian cooking. The cuisine of the Bahamas is known for its bold and vibrant flavors, which reflect the tropical climate and diverse cultural influences of the islands. From the fiery spices of West Africa to the tangy citrus fruits of the Caribbean, Bahamian cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors.

In Bahamian cooking, flavor is not just about taste but also about creating a sensory experience. It is about bringing together a variety of ingredients, spices, and techniques to create a harmonious balance of flavors that tantalize the taste buds and transport you to the sunny shores of the Bahamas.

Fried plantain in a white bowl with lemon and greens
Fried Plantains

Key Ingredients for Perfectly Flavored Bahamian Steamed Chicken

It’s important to use the right combination of ingredients to achieve the perfect flavor in Bahamian steamed chicken. Here are some key components essential for creating this traditional dish’s authentic taste.

  1. Chicken: The star of the dish, chicken provides the foundation for the flavors to shine. It is essential to choose high-quality chicken, preferably bone-in and skin-on, as it adds depth and richness to the dish.
  2. Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like thyme, pimento berries, parsley, and bay leaf are commonly used in Bahamian cuisine to add freshness and aroma. These herbs not only enhance the flavor of the chicken but also complement the other ingredients in the marinade.
  3. Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits like lime, orange lime (big sour), and orange add a tangy and zesty element to the marinade. The citrus juices’ acidity helps tenderize the chicken and infuse it with a bright and refreshing flavor.
  4. Spices and Seasonings: Bahamian cuisine is known for its fiery spices and seasonings. Some common spices used in the marinade include paprika, allspice, ginger, and Scotch bonnet peppers. These spices add depth, heat, and complexity to the dish’s flavor profile.
  5. Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic are the aromatic base of the marinade. They provide a savory and slightly sweet flavor, enhancing the dish’s overall taste.

Traditional Bahamian Spices and Seasonings

Bahamian cuisine is famous for its vibrant and aromatic spices and seasonings. These ingredients are the secret to creating Bahamian steamed chicken’s bold and flavorful taste. Here are some traditional spices and seasonings commonly used in Bahamian cooking:

  1. Allspice: Also known as Jamaican pepper, allspice is a critical ingredient in Bahamian cuisine. It has a warm and sweet flavor with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  2. Paprika: Paprika adds a rich and smoky flavor to the marinade. It also gives the chicken a beautiful reddish color.
  3. Ginger: Ginger adds a spicy and slightly sweet flavor. It pairs well with the other spices and adds depth to the marinade.
  4. Scotch Bonnet Peppers: Scotch bonnet peppers are a staple in Caribbean cooking. They are incredibly spicy and add a fiery kick to the dish.
  5. Salt and Pepper: Salt and pepper are essential for seasoning the chicken and enhancing its natural flavors. They help to balance the other flavors in the marinade.
  6. Thyme: is an herb with a distinct identity but doesn’t hit you on the head. It has a delightful flavor balance that dances between earthy and minty, minty and citrus-laced, savory but also sweet, and slightly woodsy but also flowery, with traces of lavender or toned-down rosemary.
"Marinated Chicken in clear bowl on white background"
Marinated Chicken

Techniques for Marinating and Tenderizing the Chicken

Marinating the chicken is crucial in achieving the perfect flavor in Bahamian steamed chicken. Here are some methods to ensure that the chicken is marinated correctly and tenderized:

  1. Pat the chicken dry: Before marinating the chicken, pat it dry with paper towels. This helps to remove any excess moisture, allowing the marinade to penetrate the meat more effectively.
  2. Score the chicken: To allow the marinade to seep into the chicken, scoring the meat by making shallow cuts with a knife is helpful. This helps the flavors to penetrate the meat more thoroughly.
  3. Marinate the chicken overnight in the refrigerator for the best flavor. This allows the flavors to meld together and the chicken to absorb all the delicious aromas.
  4. Use a ziplock bag or airtight container: When marinating the chicken, it is best to use a ziplock bag or an airtight container. This ensures the marinade coats the chicken evenly and prevents leaks or spills.
  5. Massage the marinade into the chicken: To ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed, massage the marinade into the chicken. This helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with all the aromatic flavors.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Bahamian Steamed Chicken

Now that you have marinated the chicken perfectly, it’s time to cook it. Here is a step-by-step guide to cooking Bahamian steamed chicken:

  1. Marinate chicken overnight or at least for 2 hours
  2. Remove chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Set aside.
  3. Arrange the chicken: Heat oil in a pot and allow the chicken to brown on both sides. Rest chicken.
  4. Prepare the gravy: Allow onion and bell pepper to saute in a pot for about 3 minutes.  Add tomato and garlic to saute.  Add water or stock to the pot and bring to a boil.  And the remainder of the ingredients, along with the chicken, cover with a lid tightly.   Allow the chicken to steam for 30-45 minutes or until it is cooked and tender and gravy thickens. Make sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer to ensure that it reaches a safe temperature of 165°F (74°C).
"Barefoot rice on a white plate with a white background"
Barefoot Rice

Serving Suggestions and Accompaniments

Bahamian steamed chicken is delicious but can also be served with various accompaniments to create a complete meal. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance the flavors of this traditional dish:

  1. Barefood Rice (White Rice): Serve Bahamian steamed chicken with barefoot rice. This classic combination is a staple in Bahamian households and perfectly complements the chicken’s flavors.
  2. Festive Coleslaw: A refreshing and tangy coleslaw accompanies the rich and flavorful chicken. The crunch of the vegetables adds texture and freshness to the meal.
  3. Fried Plantains: Sweet and caramelized fried plantains are popular in the Bahamas. They add a touch of sweetness to the savory chicken and provide a contrast in flavors and textures. 
  4. Fresh Salad: A simple salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a citrus vinaigrette is a light and refreshing option to serve alongside the chicken. It balances out the dish’s richness and adds a pop of color to the plate.

Tips for Achieving the Perfect Flavor

To achieve the perfect flavor in Bahamian steamed chicken, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use fresh and high-quality ingredients: The quality of the ingredients you use will greatly impact the dish’s flavor. Use fresh herbs, citrus fruits, and spices to ensure that the flavors are vibrant and aromatic.
  2. Adjust the spice level to your preference: If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of spicy ingredients like Scotch bonnet peppers. On the other hand, if you like it hot, you can add more peppers or even a dash of hot sauce.
  3. Remember to complete the marinating step: Marinating the chicken is essential for infusing it with flavor and tenderizing the meat. Take the time to marinate the chicken overnight for the best results.
  4. Experiment with different herbs and spices: While this recipe provides a traditional blend of flavors, don’t be afraid to experiment and add your twist. You can add fresh basil, oregano, or even a touch of cinnamon for a unique flavor profile.
  5. Garnish with fresh herbs and citrus zest: Just before serving, garnish the chicken with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro, and sprinkle some citrus zest. This adds a burst of freshness and brightens up the dish.
"Coleslaw or Cabbage Slaw in white bowl"
Tangy and Sweet Coleslaw

Easy and Creative Variations of Bahamian Steamed Chicken Recipe

This steamed chicken recipe is easily customizable, so feel free to get creative with your ingredients. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

– Add kale, spinach, cabbage, or Swiss chard.

– Add diced potatoes or sweet potatoes for extra heartiness.

– Use different types of beans, such as chickpeas or black beans.

– Add a splash of white wine for extra flavor.

– Top with shredded cheese or a dollop of sour cream for a creamy finish.

Bahamian Stewed Chicken

A symphony of flavors and traditions, this dish sums up the essence of The Bahamas in every tasty bite. Tender chicken pieces are lovingly simmered to perfection in a rich and aromatic tomato-based sauce infused with a medley of island spices that awaken your taste buds to an explosion of Caribbean flair.  The slow-cooking process allows the flavors to meld beautifully, resulting in a visually enticing dish and a celebration of Bahamian culture in your mouth. Whether enjoyed with fluffy white rice or traditional Johnny Cake, Bahamian Stewed Chicken is a delightful journey to the sun-soaked shores of the Bahamas with every mouthwatering forkful.

"Bahamian Steamed Chicken with tomatoes and tomato paste"
Bahamian Steamed Chicken with tomatoes and tomato paste


Bahamian Food – LINK UP

Bahamian Cuisine – LINK UP

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Jamaican brown Stew chicken recipe ingredients

Ingredients: The Heart and Soul of the Dish

Crafting the Perfect Marinade

The key to the distinct flavor of the Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken recipe lies in its marinade. To create this mouthwatering marinade, you’ll need:

  • Chicken Pieces: Choose a mix of bone-in chicken parts for the best results.
  • Scallions (Green Onions): These provide a delicate onion flavor.
  • Thyme: Fresh thyme sprigs infuse the dish with aromatic undertones.
  • Allspice: Also known as pimento, allspice berries add warmth and complexity.
  • Scotch Bonnet Pepper: This pepper must be used cautiously for a fiery kick!
  • Garlic and Ginger: These aromatic ingredients bring depth to the marinade.
  • Soy Sauce: Offering both saltiness and umami, soy sauce is a key element.
  • Brown Sugar: To balance the flavors and add a hint of sweetness.
  • Vinegar: This acidic component tenderizes the meat while enhancing the taste.
  • Onion: Sliced onions contribute sweetness and texture.
  • Carrots and Bell Peppers: These vegetables add color and freshness to the dish.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

In my humble opinion,  Bahamian Steamed Chicken stands out as undoubtedly one of the most exquisite tomato-based homestyle delicacies worldwide. Hailing from the picturesque Bahamas, this sauce embodies the true essence of the islands. At the same time, the cooking technique flawlessly delivers succulent, tender chicken that effortlessly slips off the bone, all within a fraction of the time needed for traditional braising methods.

So, gather your ingredients, marinate your chicken, and embark on a culinary journey to the Caribbean. Let the flavors of the Bahamas take you on a sensory adventure that will transport you to a world of sunshine, palm trees, and delicious food. Your taste buds will thank you!


Bahamian Steamed Chicken Recipe

Irresistibly Flavored Bahamian Steamed Chicken: A Taste of Island Power and Delight!
"Bahamian Steamed Chicken in a pot:
  • 8 chicken thighs or legs, bone-in
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) white vinegar
  • 1-2 limes
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp seasoned salt
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp ginger
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium diced tomato
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp pimento seeds (optional)
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock, heated
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, diced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley for garnish
Step 1
1. Rinse chicken in a large bowl with cold water and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) white vinegar.
Step 2
Pat dry with paper towels.
Step 3
2. Pour orange and lime juice over poultry and season with seasoned salt. Allow chicken to marinate overnight or at least 1 to 2 hours.
Step 4
3. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown on both sides for 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Step 5
4. Reduce heat to medium. Add olive oil to the pan and heat. Add onion, garlic, and bell peppers, and cook for 3 minutes.
Step 6
5. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more. Stir in stock to make a gravy that coats the back of a spoon. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and cook on high for 3 minutes.
Step 7
6. Add remaining ingredients (except for the parsley). Lower the heat to simmer and cover with a slightly ajar lid to release steam for about 30–45 minutes or until tender and done.

More Ideas

Brown Stewed Chicken – Click Here

Mediterranean Chicken – Click Here

Sweet and Sour Chicken – Click Here

Braised Pork – Click Here

Braised Lamb – Click Here



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