Martinique is located in the continent of North America. It has Dominica to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Saint Lucia to the south, and the Caribbean Sea to the west.
The capital is Fort-de-France.
The official language is French.
The climate is consistent with temperatures that range from 59F to 93F. It has two distinct seasons. A dry season that is from December to June, and a rainy winter that is from July to December.
The staples are local fruits, tomatoes, onions, lemons, red beans, eggplant, pumpkin, lentils, white rice, yams, octopus, crabs, prawns, chicken, and is inspired by the Africans, French, Caribbean and the South Asians (https://theculturetrip.com/caribbean/martinique/articles/top-10-martinican-dishes/).
CHICKEN COLUMBO (French West Indies) (https://www.winemag.com/recipe/chicken-colombo-french-west-indies/):
- 1TBSP rice flour
- 3 TBSP curry powder
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp salt, plus additional to taste
- 3 lbs bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed, larger pieces cut in half
- 2 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1 red or white onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 C chicken stock
- 3 TBSP lime juice
- One 14oz can coconut milk
- 1 medium potato, cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 C 1-inch diced eggplant
- 1 medium zucchini or chayote, cut into 1-inch dice
- Combine rice flour, curry, allspice, cayenne pepper and salt. Rub half of the mixture over the chicken. Refrigerate at least 8 hours.
- When ready to cook, heat 2 TBSP oil in deep saute pan or wide stockpot over medium-high heat. Brown chicken in single layers, working in batches, if necessary.
- Remove chicken and add onion and garlic. Stir occasionally until tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add chicken stock and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from pan bottom. Stir in remaining spice mixture, lime juice and coconut milk.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Add chicken and vegetables, cover the pan and cook for 45 minutes, turning chicken pieces every 15 minutes. Remove chicken when cooked through.
- If sauce isn’t thick enough, boil until it becomes consistency of thick cream (sauce should just coat chicken and vegetables).
- Add salt to taste. Return chicken to pan.
- Serve rice alongside.
BANANAS MARTINQUE (https://food52.com/recipes/76068-bananas-martinique):
- 5 large bananas (or plantains)
- 2 TBSP oil or vegetable oil
- 8 oz cream cheese or mascarpone, room temp
- 2 oranges
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 TBSP brown sugar
- Banana chips, toasted coconut, dried pineapple, optional for garnish
- Peel bananas or plantains, cut in half crosswise and then cut halves in half lengthwise. Saute over medium high heat until outsides begin to caramelize. Remove and arrange in 9×9 baking dish.
- In blender, put seeded orange sections, cream cheese, spices, and sugar. Add some orange zest if you like or save it to garnish the top. Blend until smooth.
- Pour sauce over bananas. Garnish with desired banana chips, dried pineapple, toasted coconut, or orange zest. Or whatever else strikes your fancy. I have used drained maraschino cherries.
- Bake in 350F oven for 20 minutes, just until slightly browned on top. Serve warm over ice cream, pound cake, or topped with crème fraiche.