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Chicken Cook-Up Rice


Cook-Up Rice is a one-pot Guyanese rice dish that is generally made on the weekends. It is traditional to make and serve Cook-Up Rice on Old Year's Night (New Year's Eve).

Cook-Up Rice can be made with a single type of meat or a combination of meats along with a peas/beans of your choice.

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Over night soaking of peas: 12 hours

Total Time: 13 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 - 6


  • 1 cup dried black-eye peas (or dried peas of your choice, soaked overnight)
  • 3 lbs. chicken, cut into large pieces (drumsticks, thighs and wings)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup diced onions, divided equally
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, divided equally
  • Water
  • 4 cups fresh coconut milk (substitute with 2 cups canned coconut milk and 2 cups water)
  • 2 cups long grain parboiled rice, washed and drained
  • 10 large sweet basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly (white and green parts)


  1. Pat chicken dry and season lightly with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat oil in a large pot on medium high heat.

  3. Add chicken to heated oil and brown lightly on both sides. Remove chicken from pot and set aside; keep warm. The chicken will not be fully cooked at this stage.

  4. Add half of the onions and 2 sprigs of thyme to pot and saute for 2 minutes or until onions are translucent.

  5. Drain peas well and add to sauteed onions, stir and cook together for 2 minutes.

  6. Add lukewarm water to cook peas and cook until the peas is three-quarter ways cooked through and the water has significantly reduced.

  7. Add coconut milk, par-cooked chicken, rice, remaining onions, thyme, basil, tomatoes and green onions to pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix.

  8. Cover pot and bring to a boil. When the pot comes to a boil, let cook on high heat for 6 - 7 minutes or until you begin to see the surface of the rice. Reduce heat to low, re-cover pot and let cook for 30 - 35 minutes or until the liquid has completely evaporated.

  9. The rice should be glossy, the grains loose and cooked through.

  10. Let rest of 10 - 15 minutes before serving.

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