Happy September, Cook Time Friends!!
Sorry, I’ve been a little busy this month, especially with all the excitement of Chopped. But, nonetheless, I really enjoyed this month’s country: Nigeria! A little geographical info about Nigeria includes that it’s located in West Africa and shares a land border with Benin, Chad and Cameroon. I did hours of research looking for ideas when I stumbled upon this amazing new (to me, at least) dish called Jollof Rice. Upon research, I learned Jollof Rice was common to eat, although it was mostly eaten as a party dish. However, Jollof Rice is eaten at lunch and dinner times. For breakfast, most Nigerians enjoy a small breakfast and begin their day as early as 5 A.M.! Usually they eat rice and mangoes for breakfast, but they also like to eat stewed soybeans or maybe even leftovers from the night before. At lunch time, which is considered the most important meal of the day, they eat around 11 A.M. Soups and stews, like efo and moin-moin, are common to eat during lunch. In southern Nigeria, a favorite soup is called Palm Nut soup, which is a type of stew made with meat, chilis, tomatoes, onions, and palm nut oil. For both lunch and dinner, Jollof Rice can also be accompanied by Dodo, which are fried plantains. Usually dinner is celebrated late and consists of similar dishes to lunch. Most Nigerian meals are only one course and cooked over an open fire, but stoves are sometimes used. I didn’t actually cook over an open fire for this dish, but it still turned out incredible! I hope you enjoy this month’s dish inspired by Nigeria. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Total: 1 hr
1 ½ lbs – chicken legs (about 5 drumsticks) (can substitute with chicken thighs)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp onion powder
1 ½ tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¾ tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 medium onion, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C uncooked long grain rice
1 C puree tomato sauce
3 C Chicken Stock
1 tsp chicken bouillion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional: for a little heat)
¾ C – 1 C vegetables (I used carrots and cauliflower), sliced in bite size pieces
- Wash chicken legs thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towel.
- In a small bowl, mix spices together. Add chicken and coat with spices.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet.
- Brown both sides of the chicken over medium-high heat, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Watch the chicken to prevent burning.
- Once chicken is golden, remove from the pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cover rice with cold water and wash grains. Pour out water and repeat a couple times until the water becomes clear.
- In the same skillet used to cook the chicken, remove any excess oil. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.
- Over medium-high heat, sauté onion and garlic until soft, about 2 minutes. Then, stir in rice and let sauté for only about 2 minutes.
- Pour in tomato sauce, chicken stock, and remaining spices. Gently stir to combine. Add chicken and bring to a boil.
- Place in the oven at 350 degrees and cook for about 15-20 minutes, then add the vegetables on top and cook fro another 10-15 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. (Note: Be cautious for rice getting too dry, if it does, you can add some more chicken stock to keep the moisture)
- Remove from the oven. Let cool a little, serve and enjoy!
Hugs and Veggies,