I will always alway return to the Western African/Nigerian staple. Despite having grown up in my mother’s kitchen cooking this, it continues to be my nemesis in my adult life, until now…
I have some lovely new pots, I have a gas cooker and I followed instruction from a hitherto undiscovered West African cooking book. With all this decluttering and sorting I am discovering all manner of long overlooked things. It’s nice. So I made this jollof rice so that I could have lunch for when I go into the office to do my clinics. It’s nice to have access to ready made food, even if I am still eating it at my desk during an MS Teams meeting.
It seemed quite simple and it came out perfectly. I was pleasantly surprised and quite happy with myself. I will be tinkering with the flavouring and meat content, to suit my palate, the next time I make it. However I feel that the general instructions are spot on. I will let you know how the second batch goes!
4 to 6 pieces of skinless chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
60ml vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
115 g of cubed ham
2 chicken stock cubes
1/4 tsp of ground chilli
1/2 tsp of dried thyme or 1 spring fresh thyme, crushed
350 ml of water
170g of tomato puree
260g uncooked rice
any combination of green peas, chopped French beans, carrots, green peppers or tomatoes, adding up to 300g
Preparation time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Serves 4 to 6
1. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and brown then on both sides.
2. Place the chicken into a large saucepan and set it aside. Add the ham and onion on to the frying pan and saute until the onion is transparent. Add both the onion and the ham to the saucepan and set the frying pan aside. (Do not discard the oil).
3. Add the stock cubes, red pepper (I am assuming the author meant ground chilli), thyme, water and tomato puree to the saucepan and stir well. Simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes.
4. Add the rice to the frying pan and stir to coat it with the oil. Add the rice and vegetables to the saucepan, stir well and cover. Cook over a low heat for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables and rice are tender.