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Belizean Rice and Beans and Stewed Chicken*


National Dish

In Belize, the Rice Beans and Stewed Chicken are served with potato salad and called 1, 2, 3. Belize has people from many different countries and the dish was created by Caribbean influence, local produce and the British tradition of potato salad.

The Belize Hospitality Authority HA Cookbook

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  • Chicken:
  • 1 whole chicken - cut into serving pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 balls recado (you can buy it here or search for red recado recipes – can substitute small amounts of cayenne and paprika)
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1 T white vinegar
  • 1 C water
  • 2 tsp brown sugar (use raw cane sugar)
  • 1 C water
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • Rice and Beans:
  • 1 C red kidney beans - dry
  • 1 C thick coconut cream (milk)
  • 1 onion - sliced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 C white rice
  • Pepper and salt to taste



Step 1

CHICKEN: To season with recado, get the palms of your hands wet with a bit of oil or chicken fat, then place a ball of recado in your palms and rub it around until it forms a paste which you then wipe on the chicken. You do not need a lot of recado. A thin rub will do the job. Cut chicken in serving pieces and place on a cookie sheet and season with salt, white pepper, recado and sliced onion. Brown chicken in hot oil until well browned. Pour off excess fat. Cook over low heat, adding vinegar and water. In a small frying pan, brown the cane sugar. Add 1 cup water and Worcestershire sauce while deglazing the bottom of a pan with a wooden spoon (stir the bits of sugar off the off the bottom). Add sugar and Worcester sauce mixture to the stew and cook until chicken is done.

RICE AND BEANS: Soak beans overnight in enough water to cover. Boil beans covered until tender and whole, about 1 and a half hours, adding 1/2 onion and garlic when almost tender. Add coconut cream and the rest of the onion along with the salt and pepper. Wash the rice and add to beans. Cook over gentle heat until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir gently with fork and add a little water from time to time until rice is cooked. If the bottom scorches, carefully finish cooking without stirring up the bottom, adding water from time to time if needed. In Belize they call the burnt bottom “Rice Bun” and it is good to eat. Just do not stir it through the rice. You can thicken the gravy with 3 tsp corn starch in about 1/2 cup of cold water then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes till it thickens.

To Serve:
Pour chicken and sauce over rice and beans. Serve with potato salad and fried plantains.

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