Chef Chris Viaud is a Haitian Chef based in the USA. He was raised in Boston by his parents who immigrated from Haiti and has been cooking ever since he was a little boy. He went on to graduate from culinary school and then participated in the TV show ‘Top Chef’ where is career has skyrocketed. He was recently featured in a Forbes article where he said that he ‘grew up always eating his mother’s Haitian meals but never prepared them himself. As he got older he realized how important it was going to be to understand Haitian cuisine, ingredients and recipes and how he was going to one day want to share this knowledge with his children, and eventually his community.’ Since the show Chris has opened two restaurants in Mastuchussets, USA called Greenleaf and Ansanm.
Last year he did a video with the college he graduated from, JWU, demonstrating some different Haitian recipes including:
“Poule Nan Sos” (Stewed Chicken in Creole Sauce)
4 chicken thighs // 2 tablespoons lemon juice // 1 tablespoon white vinegar//4 tablespoons epis (recipe below)//2 tablespoons adobo seasoning//½ teaspoon black pepper//1 chicken bouillon cube//2 teaspoons garlic powder//Juice of ½ lime//6 parsley stems//6 sprigs thyme//8 whole cloves//1 red and 1 green bell pepper, sliced//1 small onion, sliced//1.5 tablepoons tomato paste//Oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)//Salt, to taste
- Remove skin from chicken and rinse with vinegar and lemon juice. Place the chicken in a large tall sided pan.
- Add the epis, adobo seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder, chicken bouillon cube, pinch of salt and lime juice and mix well.
- Make “bouquet garnis” with the parsley and thyme by wrapping with a piece of cooking twine. cut a side of the red pepper and stick the cloves in it. Add bouquet and cloved pepper to the pot.
- Add enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil to cook.
- After a few minutes, taste the water to make sure seasoning is ok. If more is needed, add more adobo and some salt (not too much). After a few minutes, taste again and repeat steps above if necessary.
- When the pot comes to a boil, pre-set your oven to broil on low/medium.
- Once chicken is cooked, take the thighs out of the water and place them on a sheet pan lined with foil. Carefully place in the oven and broil until golden-brown on all sides.
- While the chicken is in the oven, use the water it was cooked in to make the sauce. You may need to add some water if not enough in the pan.
- Add tomato paste and half of the onions and peppers to the water. Bring to a boil.
- Once chicken is ready, add them back to the sauce, let it boil for 5 minutes and then lower heat to medium-low.
- Add the rest of the peppers and onions, bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.
“Diri Kole ak Pwa” (Rice and Beans)
½ cup kidney beans, soaked overnight//2 tablespoons neutral oil//1 tablespoon epis//2 teaspoons adobo seasoning//2 teaspoons garlic powder//1 tablespoon salt//1 cup basmati rice
- Place the soaked beans in a small sauce pot, cover with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender, about 45-50 minutes
- While waiting for the beans to cook, place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear. Set aside.
- Drain the beans and reserve the cooking water.
- Heat the oil in pan large enough to cook the rice, add epis and cook until slightly golden.
- Add the cooked kidney beans, adobo, garlic powder, salt and stir.
- Measure out 1 ½ cups of bean water; add it to the pan and bring to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, add in the rinsed rice and gently stir.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook until the rice is tender and all the water has evaporated.
- Remove from heat and let sit before stirring.
Epis (Haitian Seasoning Blend & Marinade)
2 scallions//½ cup of parsley//¼ cup of garlic cloves, peeled//¼ of a large onion// 1 tablespoon thyme leaves// ½ cup of mixed bell peppers (orange, red, green, yellow)// ¼ habanero pepper//1/8 cup of olive oil//Juice of ½ lime//Salt to taste
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend well.
- Taste and add additional salt if needed and blend again.