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Oil Down (Grenadan Fish and Chicken Stew)


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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Hi everyone, I hope you’re doing well. I’m still around, just haven’t been posting. I visited this site the other day and noticed that the most recent recipe was for a ButcherBox promotion back around Thanksgiving, and and it kind of bothered me. So I thought I would post a new recipe to at least push that one down a bit in the stream.

I developed this recipe when writing The Heritage Cookbook, but I ended up with too many recipes from the Caribbean, and so it didn’t make the final cut. But it’s still a simple, delicious recipe, with some subtle tropical notes that bring sunshine to your plate. There’s a lot of flexibility here; if you cannot find breadfruit or callaloo locally, I’ve included some more conventional substitutes.

I recommend eating this dish with your hands. It’s worth it.

Oil Down Oil Down - Grenadan Fish and Chicken Stew (Gluten-free, Primal, Paleo)​

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

6oz salted mackerel or baccalau, deboned
1 lb chicken thighs, drumsticks, or wings
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced)
1 red bell pepper (or 3 pimento peppers), cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup chopped)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme (about ½ tsp fresh leaves or ¼ tsp dried)
1-2 lbs breadfruit, taro, or batata (white sweet potato), peeled and cut into 2-3” chunks (see note below)
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 small green cabbage (about 1 lb), cut into wedges with core intact
4 green bananas, peeled and cut in half crosswise
1 lb callaloo (taro) leaves, spinach, or collard greens, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups chopped)
2 cans (4 cups) coconut milk
1 tsp ground turmeric

1. Rinse the saltfish in cold water then place in a large heat-resistant bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the boiling water to the bowl, enough to cover the fish. Allow the fish to sit for at least 30 minutes, but up to 1 hour, while you prepare your other ingredients. Gently rinse the fish in cold water, then tear into large (2-3”) chunks.

2. In a large stockpot, add the chicken, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and thyme; stir to combine. Add on the breadfruit, carrots, cabbage, saltfish, bananas, and spinach in layers. Stir together the coconut milk and turmeric, then pour the mixture over the rest of the food; cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Reduce heat to medium-high then simmer until the vegetables are softened and most of the coconut milk has evaporated, about 40 minutes. I like to use the bananas as my determinant food item: if they are easily pierced with a fork, the rest of the dish is ready. Remove the lid and allow the dish to set for 10 minutes.

4. Carefully remove each layer then distribute onto four large plates or bowls; serve with your favorite Caribbean hot sauce.

** If using breadfruit, be sure to also cut out the spongy core when peeling.
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