Poulè Sos Kreyol (Chicken in Creole Sauce)

Chicken Creole sauceYesterday, I posted a recipe for diri ak pwa (red beans and rice) which is the traditional meal in Haiti. I mentioned that often one will top it off with chicken cooked into a creole sauce, provided they have enough money for the extras. Here is a recipe of the sauce with added variations at the end. Again, bon appétit!

Poulé sos kreyol (serves 4)

  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 c.)
  • 3/4 c. diced green pepper (1 medium)
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 2 c. cubed cooked chicken
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Hot cooked rice

In large skillet, sauté onion, green pepper and garlic in oil until tender, stirring occasionally. Add flour; cook and stir just until flour starts to brown. Stir in tomato paste, broth, salt, sugar and pepper sauce. Cook and stir until mixture comes to boil and thickens. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken and season with fresh-ground pepper. Heat until hot. Serve over hot rice.

Variations

Our cook likes to add pwawo (leeks) as an extra as well as fresh piman (hot pepper) to the sauce instead of hot sauce.

After posting the recipe for red rice and beans, one of our readers left a comment on our website asking about the recipe for soup joumou (pumpkin soup). Seems many of you are interested in the wonderful cuisine we enjoy here in Haiti! Further on, I will post a recipe for this wonderful meal that the Haitian people take so much pride in making.

Diri ak Pwa (Red Beans & Rice)

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In response to yesterday’s post (“This Is the Way We Do It“), I received a request from one of our supporting pastors for two recipes. One was for our traditional rice and beans (diri ak pwa). The other was for Chicken with Creole Sauce. Today, I’m posting the recette (recipe) for rice and beans. Further ahead stay tuned for the makings of the Creole sauce. Bon appétit!

DIRI ak PWA (Red Beans and Rice) – Serves 6

  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 3 tablespoons lard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 cups water

In a large sieve or colander wash the beans under running water until the draining water runs clear. Transfer them to a heavy 3- to -4 quart saucepan, add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and ground pepper, and pour in 6 cups of water. Bring it to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, and simmer partially covered for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender but still intact. Drain in a sieve set over a deep bowl and put the beans aside. Measure the cooking liquid and add enough water to make 4 cups.

In a heavy 2 1/2- to 3 quart saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the lard over moderate heat. When it is very hot but not smoking, add the rice and stir for 1 or 2 minutes, until the grains turn somewhat milky and opaque.

Stir in the 4 cups of reserved liquid and water, the remaining teaspoon of salt and ground pepper to taste, cover tightly, and reduce the heat to the lowest possible point. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. Taste for seasoning and set aside off the heat, partially covered to keep the rice warm.

Working quickly, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of lard in a heavy 8- to 10-inch skillet. Drop in the beans and stir until they are heated through. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly.

Fluff the rice with a fork, mount it on a heated platter, and surround it or top it with beans. Serve at once.

Variations

When our cook, Marie, makes rice and beans, she uses olive oil to replace of the lard or vegetable oil which is mostly used here in Haiti. It’s much healthier and doesn’t affect the taste.

Also, when she’s frying the beans, she mixes in garlic, onions, and sometimes green pepper along with a chicken bouillon cube to accentuate the taste. Often, she scoops some of the beans into a little dish and brings them to me as a treat. She knows I love fried beans!

Another variation: Instead of serving the rice with the beans on top, Marie pours the uncooked rice into the beans and reserved liquid from the beans and cooks them together. Personally, we feel this is tastier than the other way.

Finally, this recipe does not include the jirof (cloves) that I mentioned in the last article. Marie puts a small handful (enough to cover the inner palm of your hand) into the rice and beans as they are cooking together.

This Is the Way We Do It

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After thirty years in Haiti, we have grown accustomed to the differences between the American and the Haitian culture. We thought you might be interested in, and perhaps amused as well, to learn some of the idiosyncrasies we find here in Haiti. These idiosyncrasies have often evoked the response, “This is how we do it here.”

Cooking

The main staple in Haiti is rice and beans. It is often accompanied (if one has enough money) by chicken in a creole sauce. It is excellent and filled with protein. I never could understand the addition of “jirof,” however. “Jirof” are cloves and normally we would use cloves for baking. These are not garlic cloves, mind you, but cloves that have been finely ground to powder that we purchase in the grocery store in a plastic container. We commonly add this to our pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving.

Ah, Thanksgiving! One may find some turkey thighs in the marché, but it is unimaginable to the average Haitian for one to set a complete turkey on the table along with dressing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and of course, pumpkin pie. Our workers greatly look forward to our American holiday because Agape Flights flies in turkeys for each missionary family once a year. Our workers know they will get to partake of this feast alongside us. After making a traditional Thanksgiving meal years ago, I gave our cook, Angeline, a slice of pumpkin pie. Since pumpkin is used to make soup here in Haiti, she was amazed to see it used in a dessert. However, she loved it!

The first time I ate rice and beans with a chicken creole sauce, I noticed the sauce had something in it that looked somewhat like nuts. Sure enough, they had cashew nuts (nwa kajou) cooked into the sauce. Of course, we had always eaten cashew nuts uncooked. It was absolutely delicious!

From time to time, I will share more on this subject. We have enjoyed the blending of our cultures. We get the better part of both worlds, for the Haitian culture is a very rich one. The Haitians are also excellent cooks. It’s fun to watch our workers try foods they don’t have here. From time to time, we receive a box of food from generous friends in the States. Our friends here often get to sample things such as pecans, walnuts, cranberries, and such. It’s fun watching what they like and don’t particularly care for. All in all, we have been so blessed to partake of cassava bread, drink chadek juice (a fruit similar to our grapefruit), and partake of Cola’s papaya milkshakes.

One memory stands apart from the rest, however. An older lady in our church gave us the gift of a rooster years ago. The meat was so tough we will probably never eat another rooster. (At least, not if we can help it!) Yet, knowing that this was a gift of great price on her part made it very special. It was a seed sown, a sacrifice that could not be turned away. But for those of you who hope to visit us here in Haiti, rest assured. We promise not to serve you rooster!

“Do You Know Where We Put The…?”

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After weeks of asking each other, “Do you know where we put the …..?”, our house is slowly taking shape. Actually, we are still asking each other that question, but some things are a little easier to find. Thought you might enjoy watching the progress of turning our new little old house into a home, even if it is at a snail’s pace. Our porch, though crowded, actually looks a lot better than it did, believe it or not. Our den is still in “crisis mode,” and our guest room is still awaiting a fresh coat of paint and some furniture.

Just take a few steps outside though and a tropical paradise awaits you. The yard is green and flourishing. We are sorry for those of you that are enduring the bitter cold weather right now. We are very thankful for the absolutely gorgeous weather we are enjoying here in Haiti. Since our house is still cramped with anything and everything, it makes us enjoy a brief walk outside that much more.

The “Welcome Mat” is out for those of you that want to visit us and get away from the cold!

Assist: Montreal

IMGP7705The school children of our third school plant want to say a big ”thank you” for all the soccer balls and basketballs that came from our friends in Montreal, Quebec. We had enough to share with the children of all three schools as well as some extras to give away as gifts to some of our leaders’ kids. Many thanks to the youth group of l’Assemblée de la Bonne Nouvelle pastored by Pierre and Louise Cyr. Nothing makes a little Haitian boy happier than a new soccer ball. Pastor Pierre and his church have faithfully supported Rehoboth Ministries and we are so grateful for their partnership.

A Good Problem

I counted close to twenty people in our new little old house today. Three men were laying tile in our two guest bedrooms. Two electricians were working to put another line in the house. Three men were out in the yard doing woodwork. Two musicians came to listen to two songs that will be translated into Creole tomorrow and introduced to our youth choir. The rest of the crowd was our cook, washlady, and guard, plus Prit and myself. We fed them all!

The noise of hammers banging, drills going, and saws sawing have diminished a bit since this morning. In order to get away from all the noise and crowded rooms, I finally walked to the other side of the compound to enjoy a little of the quiet and visit with Pastor Lefort’s wife for a few minutes. She laughed when I told her I was escaping to her side of the compound to get away from the noise, but the noise was a “bon pwoblèm” (“good problem”). It’s a problem because of the upset of our regular routines and constant movement inside our house, but it’s good in the sense that the finished product will be well worth the wait!

We look forward to the day when we no longer live in limbo. At the moment, we shuffle piles of clothing from one area to the next in order to use the space available. Our next project involves building a depot outside in the corner of our yard to store all our stuff from the last thirty years as well as a bathroom for our workers. Meanwhile, here are a few pictures from today of the laborers who are working hard to make our dream come true!

This New, Old House

15441889-cartoon-vector-image-of-a-happy-smiling-houseSince we have returned from the States from Christmas vacation, Prit and I have expended a lot of energy trying to get our new, little, old house in shape, both for us and for forthcoming visitors. Now that we have left our house of 16 1/2 years behind, we are delighted to be living on our mission compound. Before we moved, we were working on one room at a time in order to have a place to receive mission teams. We didn’t know at the time that we would be moving here ourselves! But, we love it here, even though the house still needs much work. We have been able to lay tile and paint two of the rooms. However, this house requires a lot of work.

This morning was a flurry of activity as we had people coming and going. The generator was hooked up yesterday and the “boss” came back today to connect the inverter and batteries. The batteries store up the energy produced by the generator so that when the generator is turned off, we will still have light. Boss Ronel will be back tomorrow to finish the work. Once he’s done, the darkness will no longer dictate to us when to go to bed!

Two bedroom doors were hung today where there were none before. Soon we will lay tile and paint the remaining two bedrooms, plus have a double bed built, hang pictures and decorate all before our first visitor arrives in three weeks! February seems to be the month for visiting pastors and we are looking so forward to having these fellow supporters come and encourage us with their preaching, teaching, encouragement and fellowship. Therefore, we are scurrying about to have a nice, comfortable place where they can lay their heads.

There are many projects on the burner. Our kitchen is very tiny and contains very little storage space. Our plan is to enlarge it and take the adjoining area which now serves as a den and turn it into a dining room. The front porch will be closed in to make a den where we can receive visitors. Prit’s library is overrunning with books. Many of the French books will be carried over to the Bible institute where plans for a future library are being made. As you can see, there is much work to be done, and and I haven’t even told you the half! Any help you can give to making this both an attractive home for us and a nice mission house for future teams would be greatly appreciated.

The greatest joy in all of this is being able to put people to work. Yes, we love a nice, comfortable, and attractive home as much as anyone else, but it gives us unspeakable joy to watch our people working heartily, knowing they’ll be able to take some money home to their families at the end of the day. This is where true satisfaction lies, helping others help themselves.

Maybe you would even consider taking a trip to Haiti to see our work firsthand. Once you come, you will never be the same!

$5,000 Gift!

childA very generous couple who prefer to remain anonymous have donated a $5,000 gift to Rehoboth Ministries. They specified that the money be used towards our feeding program. We wish to sincerely thank this couple for remembering the needs of our students here in Haiti.

It takes $4,000 a month to keep the feeding program running. By the grace of God and the generosity of our givers, we have been able to sustain it thus far. We have donors that have made monthly pledges to the program, but we still need help to finish the rest of the year. Would you like to help us in this endeavor?

Thanks again to Pastor Dick and Sandra Stark of Alexander City, Ala., as well as their church members, for having the faith to help us do great things for the Kingdom! Their church continues to sow precious seed to this work.

Happy Anniversary, Rehoboth Ministries!

imagesThirty years ago today we left Tarboro, N.C., to move to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.The sum total our possessions consisted of two suitcases, two footlockers, and a classical guitar. We sold our trailer and Prit’s pickup. My Maverick had already “kicked the bucket” and we left the United States having no idea of what things were in store for us once we got to the mission field. We had been invited to teach in a Christian day school that was part of the Caribbean Christian Center. We spent 5 1/2 years in the capital teaching and eventually overseeing the school. Prit also began to teach in the Pentecostal Holiness Bible School in Port-au-Prince. Our final destination was not to be Port-au-Prince, however.

Our two sons (John and Gabriel) were born in the capital. We afterwards moved north to the old colonial capital of Cap-Haitian. Soon, we had a third addition to our family. Deborah was born at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Limbé in the middle of Hurricane Gilbert. All three children grew up here in Cap-Haitian and are now residing in the States.

Our calling was to apostolic work. We planted the mother church in Petite-Anse, a suburb of Cap-Haitian. Today, we have three church plants as well as the oversight of a fourth. We also have four schools, a Bible institute, and a radio program that have evolved over the years. We administer a feeding program that feeds over 1,200 children, staff, and cooks. Those of you who know us well know that the Lord has brought us through some very fiery trials and, thanks to His grace and preservation, we are still going strong. We are no longer asking the Lord to provide support for us to be able to stay on the mission field. We are now believing God for tens of thousands of dollars to build buildings, feed children, pay salaries, purchase and maintain vehicles and generators, and a multitude of other needs.

We say a heartfelt “thank you” once again to all our supporters who have stood with us so faithfully and “Happy Anniversary” to Rehoboth Ministries!

Visitors from MFI (Ministers’ Fellowship International)

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Prit and I returned to Haiti last Wednesday. Two days later, two pastors from MFI joined us for the weekend. We held a two-day conference for our leaders and past Bible school graduates. Pastor Bob MacGregor from Vancouver, WA, and Pastor Phil Jaquith who is a missionary to Mexico left a tremendous impartation upon our leaders. Pastor Bob shared on “Dreaming Big Dreams With God.” The question he posed repeatly comes to mind, “Do your dreams bore God?” At times, we are such small thinkers in comparison to who God is and all God has done. Pastor Phil shared on “25 Common Mistakes Many Leaders Make.” There was a very deep work that took place among our leaders and everyone was moved in a profound way. In addition to this, our leaders were overjoyed to be able to have refreshments and a big meal at the Christophe Hotel where the conference was held.

Sunday morning Pastor Phil shared on aspects from story of the Good Samaritan. Since it was Communion Sunday, Pastor Bob shared on the Lord’s Supper. We have had a wonderful time of ministry and fellowship. Bob and Phil returned this morning to the States. We are so thankful for Bob and Phil’s visit. We are strengthened each time visitors come and the compassion that they have for the people of Haiti.

Since we had just enough time to move to our new home before we left for the States and then had visitors that came in right after we returned, we are just getting around to bringing order to our living situation. Now that we live in a much smaller house, this is a real challenge! Pray for us!