Suriname – Pom
This is an all day dish to make and it’s worth it. You first start by creating your own delicious broth with the chicken and vegetables. Then you grate the pomtajer (I used taro root). I highly recommend using a food processor for processing the root. Pom is a layered dish. The top and bottom layers are a mixture of citrus juices, sugar and grated taro root. The middle layer has a deep broth flavored chicken mixed with chicken sausage and vegetables. After assembling your layers you pour the broth over the top. Baked in the oven the top layer gets nice and crispy like hash browns. If you have leftover broth like I did, don’t throw it out. It’s wonderful on its own as a soup or used anywhere you would use chicken broth in a recipe.
1 whole chicken, about 2 to 3 lbs
1 lb of salt pork or chicken sausage
2 to 3 lb pomtajer (or taro root)
8 tomatoes, peeled and chopped or a can of diced tomatoes (1 lb)
2 onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, diced
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon nutmeg
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 2 lemons
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 red hot pepper, whole
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Cut the chicken into pieces. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. In a pan with a little oil, fry the chicken pieces and chicken sausage (sliced) for a few minutes. Set aside.
In the same pan, sauté the onions for 7-8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic and celery.
Add the chicken and chicken sausages and cover with water. Add the bouillon cubes and the red chili pepper (optional).
Cook covered over medium low heat for 25-30 minutes. Drain the cooking liquid into a bowl and keep it aside.
Peel and rinse the pomtajer or taro root. Grate by hand or with a food processor.
Mix it with some of the cooking liquid from the meat as well as the orange and lemon juices to make a sticky dough. Add sugar.
Spread half of the pomtajer mixture in a well greased baking dish. Spread chicken mixture on top and then cover with the rest of pomtajer. Most pom recipes ask for the chicken to be kept with the bones. I personally removed the bones and cut it into smaller chunks.
Pour the remaining juices over the top and bake for two hours: one hour covered at 425 F and one hour uncovered at 350 F.
Pom should be done when the top is brown and a golden brown juice comes out when poked with a knife.