Trinidadian Pelau with Chicken

Maya Feller, M.S., RD, CDN, of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition, recommends this cost-conscious recipe to clients looking to prepare satisfying, nutritious meals at home. "Pelau is a hearty dish that can be prepared in big batches and enjoyed over time," she says. (This recipe was part of a feature story, "The Real Cost of Healthy Food," in EatingWell magazine and has not been tested by our Test Kitchen.)

Trinidadian Pelau with Chicken
Photo: Leslie Grow | Trinidadian Pelau with Chicken
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken thighs with skin, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces and patted dry

  • 1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1 ½ cups water

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped carrots

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 ½ cups cups cooked long-grain brown rice

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pigeon peas, drained


  1. Place brown sugar in a large heavy pot. Cook over medium heat, tilting the pan to redistribute it occasionally, until it melts and starts to caramelize, about 3 minutes. (Take care not to let the sugar burn.) Add chicken and stir to coat. Add coconut milk, water, carrots, salt and pepper; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

  2. Stir in rice and peas. Cook, covered, until heated through, about 5 minutes.


Read 5 Dinners on a Shoestring Budget for more about this recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

646 Calories
26g Fat
74g Carbs
28g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 5
Serving Size about 1 2/3 cups
Calories 646
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 74g 27%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 28g 56%
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 113mg 38%
Vitamin A 4368IU 87%
Sodium 752mg 33%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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