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Haitian Chef, Japhet

Japhet is Chef and owner of Josie Celestin Catering. He started cooking at the age of 13 alongside his aunt in Haiti.

He attended culinary school at Star Career Academy in New York and fine-tuned his skills at The Knickerbocker Club.  For the past years, he has continued to refine his craft while focusing on creating authentic Haitian cuisines. Japhet loves the challenge cooking presents and his passion translates into an extra ounce of deliciousness in everything he cooks.

Haitian Chicken Stew


4 chicken thighs, skin on

4 cups water -(bring to boil)

2 limes squeezed, then reserve the limes

1/2 cup Haitian Epis

2 tbsp oil. Olive, vegetable or peanut oil

2 cloves garlic crushed or smashed

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

1 tbsp fresh parsley

1 tbsp thyme

2 tbsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp kosher salt

half orange and green bell peppers sliced, and seeds removed


Boil 4 cups of water on medium heat. Squeeze the limes and set aside. Do not discard the limes.

Clean and wash chicken with the limes then rinse 3-4 times. Place the chicken in a large bowl or colander and pour the hot water over the chicken.

Use tongs to transfer the meat from the hot water bath to a large bowl. Season the meat with lime juice and Haitian Epis. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking, or best overnight.

In a pan, bring fire to medium high heat, add two tbsp. of oil and sear the meat on both sides until  golden brown; do not throw away the marinating sauce. Remove meat from heat and place on a paper towel plate.

In the same pan, sauté half of the onion and garlic until fragrant (about 45 seconds) then add the tomato paste. Stir. Then quickly add 1 cup water, stir, and add the chicken.

Pour the marinating sauce over the chicken, then add 2 cups water in the marinating. Add vinegar, parsley, kosher salt, and thyme. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

After  simmering, uncover and add the bell peppers and the other half of sliced onions. Stir, cover, and simmer for the remaining 5 minutes.

Serve over rice or desired side.

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