Chicken Calypso

This is one of the classic dishes of Dominica. It’s rich and full of flavour and, although there are many variations, it typically consists of chicken breast or thighs with vegetables and cashew nuts stewed with spices. This is a warming and comforting dish that I hope you enjoy.

Found in this book

Ainsley's Caribbean Kitchen

Ebury Press


To make the marinade, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Score the chicken, place them in the marinade and mix until thoroughly coated. Cover and marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Carefully place in the hot pan and seal the meat on all sides. Add the guava jelly and let it melt and bubble down. Use tongs to turn the chicken in the hot glaze until lightly brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a separate saucepan heat the remaining oil and add the onions and ginger and cook for 4-6 minutes until softened.  Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes then stir through the cashews.

Increase the heat in the chicken pan and deglaze with red wine. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then whisk in the cornflour. Add the mushroom mix and return the chicken to the pan. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender and the sauce has reduced to a dark, shiny consistency.

Serve over steamed rice or try with my Ainsley Harriott Rice, Couscous ‘n’ Beans**

*you can buy guava jelly/jam in supermarkets or world food stores. Or you can try substituting with apple or apricot low sugar jam with a squeeze of lemon.

** available in Asda



  • For the Chicken
  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp guava jelly*
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 ½ cm fresh root ginger, finely julienned
  • 150g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 100g unsalted cashew nuts, toasted
  • 200ml red wine
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour, slaked with 3tbsp water
  • steamed rice, to serve
  • For the Marinade
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt