Inspiration for this gluten-free Curried Caribbean Chicken and Shrimp came from recently vacationing on the picturesque, serene, 68-square-mile island of St. Kitts. This blissfully sweet and spicy marriage of curry with mango, honeydew, grapes, and caramelized plantains brings the Caribbean right into your own kitchen.
Sway to Bob Marley reggae or steel band music while cooking this dish! There are a few steps but all meld deliciously while sipping something spiked and fruity, and taking in this view.
On to the recipe! Mangos are one of those versatile fruits that work in sweet and savory dishes, and of course, straight up. But if you’re not familiar with cutting mangos, cut off the bottom end to create a flat surface. Next, run your knife along the skin to peel, revealing the golden yellow flesh. Mangos have a funky pit that runs parallel to its longest side. Run your knife along the parallel line close to the center where it should slide down without much effort. If you’re meeting a lot of resistance, you’re too close to the grainy, tough pit. Try cutting another 1/8-inch outward, then cut into cubes. While you’re in mango-mode you may also like to try our Roasted Mango and Papaya Chutney and Fresh Fruit Summer Salsa.
Get your skillet nice and hot before adding the shrimp. My 12″ Lodge Cast Iron always rises to the occasion. A well-seasoned, cast iron anything literally becomes non-stick. You’re searing the shrimp first so you don’t have to wait for them to cook through later on when the rest of the dish is done.
Like mangos, plantains can also be challenging to peel. If the thick skin doesn’t peel away like a ripe banana, run a sharp knife lengthwise along the peel four times around. Try not to score the plantain flesh. Gently loosen the rind from the flesh with your thumb or a butter knife. The peel should loosen easily from that point on.
Cutting into rounds and tossing with brown sugar and cinnamon preserves the plantains’ color and adds a bit of sweetness to this rather rustic fruit before taking a turn in the fired up skillet. The sugary coating ensures a caramelized crust with a soft, gooey center.
You can’t help but sneak a few to make sure they taste just right. 🙂
Bringing it All Together
Finish the dish with the sweet mango, honeydew melon, and grapes. The tender chicken and plump shrimp absorb the curry and sweet, creamy fruit flavors. It’s a one-pot dish, chock-full of tropical deliciousness! Hope you enjoy this as much as we did this past weekend! Can’t wait to make it again!! Also, a snippet from our Caribbean getaway is shared below. Enjoy!!
A Little Adventure
On a personal note, while away Kevin and the kids thought it was high time (pun intended) to conquer my fear of heights… by zipping through the canopies on qtr-mile long lines 250ft above the rainforest floor. Awesome experience in spite of me holding on for dear life shown below. The polar opposite of my kids! Yes, this is me with the death grip… quite proud that I didn’t scream.
This picture totally epitomizes Bryce’s personality…
As does this of Elise, who couldn’t go fast enough…
Rum punch was mom’s recovery drink of choice when calling it a day!?? #skysafari
Curried Caribbean Chicken and Shrimp
- 2 plantains, or 2 large firm bananas, cut into ½-inch rounds
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 lb 21-25 count shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 ½ lbs)
- ¾ cup heavy cream or coconut milk
- 2 mangos, cut into ½ - ¾-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 1 ½ cups honeydew melon, cut into ½ - ¾-inch cubes
- 1 ½ cups red seedless grapes, halved, or left whole if small
- Salt and pepper
- 4-6 cups cooked white or brown rice
- Garnish, thinly sliced green onions and fresh parsley
- In a medium bowl, toss plantain rounds with brown sugar and cinnamon until fully coated. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add shrimp in a single layer; season with salt and pepper. Cook about 2 minutes on each side until just opaque in center. Transfer shrimp to a bowl or plate. Cover with foil to keep warm. Discard oil and wipe skillet clean with damp paper towel.
- Heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add coated plantains in a single layer. Cook 3 minutes on each side to caramelize, and become soft in the center. Transfer plantains to a bowl or plate, cover with foil, and set aside.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in curry powder and cumin. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Push onion and pepper mixture to the sides, and add chicken cubes to the middle of skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Stir chicken with onion mixture to combine. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cream. Simmer until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring frequently, 3-5 minutes. Stir in mango, grapes, and honeydew. Cook 3-4 minutes for fruit to heat through. Stir in plantains and shrimp. Heat through 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion and fresh parsley. Serve over cooked rice, if desired.