Chicken with Okra and Djon-Djon, another favorite dish. People who are not from Haiti always talk about Black Rice, Rice with Djon-Djon or Black Mushroom Rice and not about any other dishes prepared with Djon-Djon. It may be because they are unaware that Djon-Djon can be added to meat, poultry, grains and vegetables. Or maybe because the rice dish is so popular that nothing else matters.
Thinking about this some more, one other reason might be because they are not exposed to other dishes created with Djon-Djon. Whatever the case may be Djon-Djon is a versatile mushroom available also in cube spice form in many West Indians and Caribbean supermarkets.
Before going any further, Djon-Djon is a type of mushroom cultivated only in Haiti, processed, and sold dried. Nowadays it has become somewhat easier to find because it is sold in cube form by Maggi Seasoning that is own by Nestle Professional. The company is selling the cube made of djon-djon and other spices. I have found the seasoning in several West-Indians stores.
I always hear the saying, “nothing beats an original.” This is true in this case. Although it is a creative idea to sell, it also has its flaws like many other products. The Djon-Djon Maggi cube is the perfect convenience spice for the Chicken with Okra and Djon-Djon recipe because there is no need to boil the chicken in the mushroom liquid. Just add fresh herbs and spices and the meal is done.
But again, the healthy way to make this dish is to use fresh herbs and spices. If you choose to make this recipe from scratch using the real Djon-Djon, the instructions are also posted in the recipe section. Don’t forget to read the post about Djon-Djon.
- 4 chicken thighs and 4 chicken legs
- 1 large lime or ¼ cup vinegar to clean chicken
- 2 Maggi djon-djon cubes
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 scallions slice thin
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon Thyme leaves only
- 2 whole cloves
- ½ cup of green bell peppers sliced thin
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons lime juice or apple cider vinegar
- 1 pound fresh or frozen okra tips removed
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper chopped thinly, optional
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Remove any extra fat and skin from the chicken pieces.
- Clean the chicken by rubbing and squeezing the juice out of the lemon onto each piece. Rinse with water and pat dry. Place chicken in shallow bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix all herbs, spices green peppers and onions with the exception of the Maggi Djon-Djon.
- Pour spices mixture on chicken and make sure all pieces are coated. Refrigerate and let marinate for at least 1 hour to two hours or overnight for flavor enhancement.
- If using dried mushrooms (Don-Djon), soak ½ cup of Djon-Djon into 2 cups of water for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain liquid and put aside. Liquid is used to cook chicken.
- Remove chicken pieces from the marinade, and pat dry if possible. Set aside marinade.
- In a large skillet, heat-up oil. Fry each chicken piece until golden brown and set aside. In a saucepan large enough to hold chicken pieces, add remaining marinade and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes. Place chicken into saucepan. Scatter whole okras or cut-up okras on chicken pieces. Dissolve Maggi djon-djon into ¾ cup water. Add water to chicken and cook covered on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and hot pepper if using and cook for 10 additional minutes or until both chicken and okra are very tender. Remove from heat and serve with rice or root vegetables.