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Bahamian Chicken Souse

As I've mentioned in the past few posts, I took a little trip to the Bahamas recently.  While I was there, I took the opportunity to document a few recipes that have been requested by you guys!  Selfishly, I have also written down these recipes so that I can repeat them when I'm not at home in the motherland.

In the Bahamas, we tend to cook based upon how the dish looks and tastes at certain moments.  Measurements are on the fly,  Many times, hands are an adequate measurement vessel.  A "sprinkle" or a "dash" is a sufficient phrase to describe how much of an item to add to a dish.  Although there were a few bumps along the way during this process, in the end, patience prevailed and I got several detailed recipes in my arsenal.

First up in this lineup, in case you neglected to read the title of this post, is Bahamian Chicken Souse.  We tend to eat this for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner.  Basically, there's an excuse to eat it at all times of the day.  Our family friend, Steven Seymour, gave me this recipe and it's so good it's become a staple at several Sunday meals.  Now that I have this recipe, I'm excited to see if I can recreate this in my own kitchen!


Bahamian Chicken Souse
from Steven Seymour
makes 10-12 servings

Print Recipe

  • ~10 lbs chicken, cleaned, skinned, trimmed, and cubed
  • ~4 lbs medium sized potatoes (about 8 potatoes), peeled and cubed
  • 6 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 medium-sized onions, diced
  • 1 habanero pepper (aka goat pepper), diced
  • 1/3 cup whole allspice seeds
  • 3-4 tablespoons salt, plus extra for the potatoes
  • juice of 6-8 limes


1) Put the prepared potatoes in a large pot.  Add enough water to cover the potatoes.  Sprinkle with salt.  You will get a chance to adjust the salt again later.

2) Place the potatoes on the stove over medium-high heat and bring them to a boil.  Cook the potatoes until they are softened, but still firm when pierced with a fork.

3) Meanwhile, in a large 12-quart pot, add the chicken, and the rest of the ingredients.  Use a large spoon to mix everything together.  You'll start to see the juices seeping out from the onions.

4) Place the pot over medium-high heat, covered.  Allow to boil for ~30 minutes or until the chicken is almost done.

5) Add the potatoes and the water in which the potatoes were boiled to the pot with the chicken.

6) Taste the broth and add more salt and/or lime juice until it reaches the desired taste.

7) Allow the chicken souse to boil for ~30 minutes more, so the flavors have a chance to blend together.  The souse is done when the potatoes are well done and the chicken falls off the bone or shreds easily.

8) Serve the chicken souse warm, with buttered johnnycake, limes and peppers on the side, if desired.