Curried Chicken and Plantain Croquettes


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1½ tablespoons Jamaican curry powder, divided
1 small onion, diced, divided
2 scallions, sliced thinly, divided
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 1 clove)
1/2 teaspoon Scotch bonnet hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 sprigs fresh thyme, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 cup water

Scotch Bonnet Aioli

1 cup mayo
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 teaspoon Scotch bonnet hot sauce
1 lime, zested and juiced
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


4 ripe plantains, ends trimmed and skin slit down the middle
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

To assemble

1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs

In a mixing bowl, season the chicken with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 tablespoon curry powder, 1/2 of the onion, 1/2 of the scallion, ginger, garlic, Scotch bonnet sauce, allspice, 1 sprig of thyme, salt, pepper and chicken bouillon. Massage the seasonings into the chicken until the pieces are coated evenly. For best results, allow the chicken to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
In a large pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 tablespoon curry powder. Let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once the oil is foamy and the curry has slightly darkened, add the chicken to the pan. Cover and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the chicken has cooked in its own juices for about 15 minutes, add water, remaining sprig of thyme, onion and scallion. Increase the heat to medium-high heat, cover and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced. Taste for salt and add if needed. Pull chicken apart with a fork and allow to cool.

For the scotch bonnet aioli:

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.

For the plantains:

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Boil plantain in skin.
Peel and mash plantain with ricer or potato masher.
Season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and chopped parsley.

To assemble:

Portion plantain, roll into balls and flatten, put a scoop of chicken in the middle and shape plantain around chicken.
Bread with flour and egg then panko. Double-bread if necessary to make sure there are no gaps in the breading.
Heat a pot with a few inches of vegetable oil in the bottom to 325 F.
Fry the plantain balls in the oil until golden-brown. Serve with dipping sauce.