A recipe for Bajan Chicken and Potato Roti! Pieces of chicken and potato are simmered in a spiced curry mixture until tender and served in a flaky roti skin.
I first came across the inspiration for this recipe over on Totally Barbados and it is such a delicious street food packed with flavor. Variations can also be found in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and other islands.
Homemade roti skins (influenced from the Indian roti) are filled with a spiced chicken and potato mixture, then folded so it can be more easily eaten by hand.
The potato is optional, but adds a great texture and reduces the amount of meat needed. Other popular fillings include beef, lamb, and goat.
If possible, try to use a Scotch bonnet pepper. The name comes from their resemblance to a Scottish Tam o’Shanter hat. I grew them in my garden this year and they can be located in some markets featuring Caribbean produce. Mine ripened from green to orange, but they may also be red, yellow, or even brown (chocolate).
Don’t dice the Scotch bonnet! Add it to the pot whole, then remember to remove at the end of cooking.
If unavailable, swap for a habanero pepper. They are similar in shape and both have a rating of 100,000–350,000 Scoville units, but the Scotch bonnet has a slightly sweet, more fruity flavor.
A Few Tips
I added butter to the dough, but have come across recipes with oil or shortening.
Roll out the dough on a large work surface. With the amount of butter in the dough and after resting, I usually don’t have to add flour. Only sprinkle the surface with flour if absolutely necessary to prevent sticking. Too much will create a more tough texture.
Roll each ball of dough as thin as possible. I like to roll it out until I can easily see the design of my counter through the dough and the circle is around 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) wide. If the bread tears while rolling, gently pull a little dough over it to form a patch.
Heat the roti just until they develop little brown spots. Don’t cook them so long that they become crisp. They need to keep that soft, flakey texture for wrapping.
After cooking on the pan until golden, transfer the roti to a plate and cover with a towel. This will keep them soft.
Take care not to overfill the roti. Otherwise, you won’t be able to fold them enough to close.
I have seen this recipe made with both chicken breasts and chicken thighs. When updating, I went with thighs since it holds up better to longer simmering as the potatoes become tender. If using chicken breasts, take care to not overcook.
Pour in 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) water or chicken stock after adding the potatoes. This will not be enough to fully cover potatoes, but the mixture will steam with the cover on. Only add more water if it all evaporates and the curry becomes dry.
If there is too much water once the potatoes are tender, remove the cover and increase the heat to medium, while stirring often, to reduce the sauce. Once removed from heat, the mixture will thicken slightly as it cools.
Adjust the salt to taste. You may need more or less, especially if you use chicken stock instead of water.
Looking for more delicious wraps?
- Carne Asada Breakfast Burritos
- Musakhan Wraps (Palestinian Chicken Wraps)
- Grilled Chicken Naan Wraps with Roasted Red Pepper Tahini Sauce
This recipe was originally posted in February 2017 and updated in August 2023.
Bajan Chicken and Potato Roti Recipe
Adapted from Totally Barbados
Bajan Chicken and Potato Roti
- 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) hot water
Chicken and Potato Filling:
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 Scotch bonnet pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts diced into 1 inch (2.5 centimeter) pieces
- 3 tablespoons (18 grams) curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pound (450 grams) potatoes peeled and cut into 3/4 inch (2 centimeter) cubes
- 1 1/2 cup (355 milliliters) boiling water or chicken stock
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves only and stems discarded
- 2 bay leaves
To make the Roti Skin:
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- Mix in the softened butter to create a coarse texture, then slowly add water until a soft dough comes together. You may not need the full 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of water or you may need a little more.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Cover with a towel and allow to rest at room temperature while the filling is simmering (at least 30 minutes).
To make the filling:
- In a large pot with a lid, drizzle the oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook until starting to soften, then stir in the garlic and whole Scotch bonnet pepper.
- Add the chicken pieces and continue to cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides.
- Stir in the curry powder, salt, cumin, allspice, black pepper, and nutmeg and continue to cook for another minute, taking care to stir often and not burn the mixture.
- Toss in the potato pieces, then pour in the water or chicken stock. Add the thyme leaves and bay leaves.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 20-30 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are fully tender, adjust seasonings to taste, remove from heat, and discard the Scotch bonnet and bay leaves.
- Divide the roti dough into 4 equal pieces, then form each piece into a smooth ball.
- On a large work surface, roll one piece into a circle as thin as possible. Mine are usually around 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) wide.
- Repeat with remaining dough, rolling out a second time if the dough has pulled back at all. Only dust with flour if absolutely necessary.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and grease with oil.
- Add a thin circle to the heated pan and cook until beginning to puff, about 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook the other side just until beginning to form brown spots, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Repeat with remaining roti, greasing as needed. Cover the cooked roti skins with a towel to keep warm while the rest are cooking.
- To serve, fill the center of a warm roti with the prepared filling. Fold the top and bottom over the filling to cover, then fold in the ends to close. Flip over so the smooth part is on top and serve immediately.