The process of caramelizing the meat is an African influence which became part of the Creole culinary tradition. The process gives the pelau its dark brown color–a sure sign of a good pelau. The brown layer that forms on the bottom of the pot is called “bun-bun,” and for some people, it’s their favorite part of this meal.

  • 3 lbs. of chicken thighs and or drumsticks, cut up into large pieces / you can substitute BEEF for the chicken which is always fantastic!!!
  • 2 Tbsp green seasoning
  • 2 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or Canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp  brown sugar
  • 2 cups parboiled rice, washed and drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet peppers
  • 1 cup diced carrots (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked pigeon peas (canned is fine)
  • 2 cups fresh coconut milk (dilute milk with water if using canned coconut milk)
  • 2 cups cooking liquid (stock, water or reserved cooking liquid from peas)
  • 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper optional if you like a little heat.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (white and green parts)


  1. Add chicken, green seasoning, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ketchup to a bowl along with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix and coat the chicken with the seasonings. Set aside and let marinate for at least an hour.
  2. Pour oil into a large pot and place on medium high heat. Let oil heat until hot but not smoking.
  3. Sprinkle sugar into heated oil in an even layer. Let the sugar melt until it starts to froth and bubble. As soon as the edges of the froth/bubbles starts to get a slight shade darker, immediately add the seasoned chicken and stir to mix and coat with the burnt sugar. Let cook for 7 – 10 minutes.
  4. Add the rice to the pot, stir to mix and cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add peas, pepper and carrots (if using) and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Pour in coconut milk and other cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Toss in whole scotch bonnet pepper. Cover pot and bring to a boil.
  8. When the pot comes to a boil, remove lid partially and let boil until you can see the surface of the dish – the rice, peas and chicken (about 7 – 8 minutes). Cover pot fully, reduce heat to low or simmer and let cook for 25 – 30 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.
  9. Sprinkle the green onion on top and fold into Pelau.
  10. Serve hot or at room temperature.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Mrs F with 4 says:

    I don’t believe I have ever tried this; but, being up for most culinary challenges, I’m going to make it for a kitchen supper party this weekend…or should I have a practice run, first?

  2. Go for it no test run required………just make sure not to add to much liquid.

  3. Mrs F with 4 says:

    OK! There will be ten hungry adults if I bugger it up, though….

    1. You should have pizzeria on speed dial!! LOL

  4. Mrs F with 4 says:

    Your confidence in my culinary skills is…overwhelming! Although, perhaps news of this week’s cake disaster has spread further than I thought..

    1. What disaster??


  5. Mrsfwith4 says:

    Triple layer chocolate and marmalade birthday cake…immaculately iced…for my 8 yr old. Currently residing inside two hiccuping black Labradors, who look only faintly guilty.

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