Caribbean Smothered Chicken With Lime

Serves 4.

Note: What "smothering" means in soul-food terms is coating a slow-cooked meat with a blanket of saucy aromatics that end up as gravy, according to chef Carla Hall. Adapted from "Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration."

• 4 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb. total)

• Kosher salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tsp. vegetable oil

• 6 large sprigs thyme, plus fresh thyme leaves for serving

• 2 large onions, thinly sliced

• 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

• 1 habanero chile, partially slit open

• 1 c. low-fat coconut milk

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime, plus wedges for serving

• 1/2 tsp. curry powder


Season the chicken generously all over with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a large, shallow Dutch oven or deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan, skin sides down. Sear for about 5 minutes, turning them over once, until browned on both sides and some of their fat has rendered. (They will not be cooked through.)

Push the thighs to one side of the pan, turning them skin sides up; add the thyme and onions to the other side of the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until they pick up some color.

Add the garlic, chile pepper and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then pour in the coconut milk and 1/4 cup water. The browned skin on the thighs should remain above the level of liquid. Increase the heat to medium; once the liquid begins to boil, move the onion mixture around the chicken pieces, as needed. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Discard the thyme sprigs.

Uncover and stir in the lime juice. Cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in the curry powder and lime zest. Scatter some thyme leaves on top. Serve right away (with or without the chile pepper), with lime wedges.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 320 Fat 13 g Sodium 270 mg

Carbohydrates 9 g Saturated fat 5 g Total sugars 4 g

Protein 38 g Cholesterol 180 mg Dietary fiber 1 g.

Speedy Bacon and Three-Bean Skillet Stew

Serves 6.

Note: The bacon gives this quick dish a long-simmered flavor, says chef Carla Hall, but she doesn't crisp it: When it's cooked just to a golden soft consistency, its salty goodness will soak into the creamy beans. Serve it plain with corn bread or top it with something. The stew can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; reheat with a bit of water to loosen it up. Adapted from "Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration."

• 2 tsp. canola oil

• 1 medium onion, cut into small dice

• 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided

4 oz. thick-cut bacon, each slice cut into 1/4-in. batons (like lardons)

• 1 garlic clove, cut into thin slices

• 1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile, seeded and minced

3 (15-oz.) cans butter beans, small kidney beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

• Generous 1 3/4 c.(15 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth


Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened, then push the onion to one side of the pan.

Scatter the bacon pieces on the other side; cook for about 5 minutes, until golden but not crisped. On the bacon side, stir in the garlic, chile pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the beans and broth. Once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, so everything's heated through. Serve hot.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 270 Fat 11 g Sodium 630 mg

Carbohydrates 30 g Saturated fat 3 g Total sugars 1 g

Protein 11 g Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 7 g