Junkanoo is an important element of Bahamian culture. An exact history is unclear but is thought to be named for a slave named John Canoe. It dates back several centuries when slaves on plantations in the Bahamas wore masks to avoid being identified when celebrating Christmas and New Years. After emancipation, the tradition continued but with more formal and elaborate community festivals held across the Bahamas on Dec 26 and Jan. 1. It usually includes food, local crafts, children performing skits, and street parades featuring indigenous music, dancing and colorful festival costumes and masks.
1Prepare rice as directed on package, except use tomato juice in place of water, and add celery and peppers.
2In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté onions, zucchinis and mushrooms.
3In a separate bowl, whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger and cornstarch, then add to skillet with the other ingredients. Cook over low heat until it comes to a boil and thickens, stirring frequently. Add chicken and stir gently until hot.