Follow by Email

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jollof Rice with Chicken

2 pounds Chicken
3 Onions
12 Tomatoes
15 Kpakpo shito (hot green peppers)
1 tablespoon blend of spices (ginger, garlic, onion, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 desertpoon curry
4 cups rice
2 cups cooking oil
2 maggi cubes

First start by cutting up the chicken into equal parts. Then remove the skin and wash thoroughly. Drain of all the liquid.

Add the blend of spices, 1 maggi cube and a bit of salt. Toss it all until all the pieces of chicken are coated. Leave it to marinate in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, slice the onions, wash and drain the rice ...

.. and blend the tomatoes and pepper.

Place the chicken in a pot and steam until tender. Add a little water (about half a cup)if it starts to run too low in the pot, you don't want burnt chicken. When it is cooked, remove it from the stock, but save the stock for later.

Heat 1 and a half cups of oil in a pan and fry the chicken, turning it over until it is light to golden brown on both sides.

While the chicken is frying, put the remaining half a cup of cooking oil into a big pot (this is the pot to cook the Jollof in) and heat it up.

Toss in the onions and fry till they soften.

When they look translucent, add the curry and fry until the edges start to brown.

Add the blended tomatoes and pepper. Cover for 5 minutes to cook the tomatoes, then uncover and allow it to fry dry, stirring it occassionaly and not letting it stick. Add the chicken stock.

Add the fried chicken, lower the heat and let it simmer so the chicken pieces can soak up all  the wonderful flavour. Stirr occassionally so that it doesn't stick.

When it thickens, take the chicken out taking only the little sauce that is on the chicken. The rest of the sauce in the pot is going towards the Jollof.

As the sauce continues to cook increase the heat again, add half a cup of the oil left over from frying the chicken, then add the tomato puree. Fry this until it is almost sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the rice and continue to stir.

Add 4 cups of water and the remaining maggi cube. Stir it all in then taste for salt, keeping in mind that the rice will soak up the water, so don't worry if it is a little less salty than you would like. Reduce the heat to the lowest level, cover with a polythene bag and leave to cook. Check it after 15 minutes, stir it from the bottom, with kitchen prongs, so that it stays fluffy. If it seems dry, spinkle about 1/4 cup of water into it using your hand. Cover it back up and leave to cook some more.

Serve with potato salad. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fish Balls

1 Large Smoked Tuna
2 eggs
4 Garlic Cloves
3 hot green peppers
1/2 an Onion
1 Green/Bell pepper
A small piece of ginger (about 1 segment of a finger)
Black pepper
Cooking Oil (enough for deep frying)

I went hunting through Kaneshie market for a large smoked tuna. They sell them whole, half or even a quarter so that if you don't want to buy much, you don't have to. I chose the largest one I could find. The lady selling told me it would cost GH¢ 16.00. I promptly offered her 12. She aquiesced so readily, I realized I could probably have got it for 10, but oh well. Another important thing to remember when buying smoked Tuna is that it is salted prior to smoking, this gives it a longer shelf life, so-to-speak. The salt can be excessive, so insist on being given the non-salted Tuna. Even this version is not salt free, just less salty. Some offer you a teeny bit to taste before you buy, usually I see that as enough proof and can go ahead and buy it.

Smoked Tuna is not the prettiest to look at but since the skin is usually washed off, it doesn't really have any bearing on the final product. In Ghana, whole smoked fish is smoked with the inards, head gills etc. still inside to maintain the shape of the fish. It is up to you to remove all unwanted parts before you use it.

I start by removing the head, which will usually come away with the gills. Just pull the head upwards sort of by the chin, to expose the neck ( if fish had them). Now seperate the fish along the main bone so that you end up with 2 halves. This should give you access to the stomach content. Since it is all smoked, it should have a firm consistency  and should seperate from the main fish easily. Remove the fins and as many of the bones as you can see.

Rinse the fish thoroughly rubbing off all the skin and residue of insides. Set it aside and carefully start flaking it into a bowl, removing any remaining bones as you go.

Place the half onion, peppers, garlic and ginger in the Asanka and mash. You could go ahead and blend them if you prefer.

Now I chopped the bell pepper, cracked 2 eggs into the spice mixture and sprinkled some garlic and herb powder over the lot, stirred it up and then mixed the the tuna flakes into it.

The mixture will still feel dry and crumble easily as you shape your balls. Add an extra egg if it feels too dry and cannot hold the shape. I chose to deep fry some and bake the rest.
Half of the balls went into the fridge, while I greased a baking tray with a little of the oil, the flattened the rest of the balls so that they would bake more easily. I preheated the oven then turned the heat down halfway when I put the tray in.

I checked after about 5-7 minutes and turned over those that were browning.

For the deep fried balls, I heated the oil in a small pot. With a smaller pot, you don't have to use as much oil to get the necessary depth needed (enough so that the balls can float) as you do witha bigger or shallower pot/pan. Make sure the oil is very hot. To make sure, put in a sliver of onion or a clove of garlic, when it browns and starts to go dark, pull it out, it would have flavoured you oil nicely and the oil is ready.

Fry the balls in batches and remove to a seive as soon as they are golden brown.

Serve with rice, yam, potatoes and gravy, or as finger food. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Grilled Chicken

1 Whole Chicken
2 Small Onions
4 Garlic Cloves
Small finger-size-piece of Ginger
3 hot green peppers
1 hot red pepper
1 hot yellow pepper (ojengma)
1 pinch of rosemary
1 Maggi Cube

The most important thing is to use as fresh a chicken as possible. Wash it thoroughly and pat dry. Sometimes wash it in lemon or lime water, but I chose not to this time.

Now to cutting it ...

I usually start by removing the whole leg by cutting the flap of skin between the body and the leg. When you cut the skin and some of the flesh a little way in, hold the body steady and press the leg outwards, it should reveal a joint which you cut through to get a thigh and drumstick. Repeat the process on the other leg. Cut through the joint between the thigh and drum stick.Remove the wings so that you have just the torso left. Now, using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut along the sides to seperate the whole front from the back. Cut the breast into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how big your chicken is and how big you want the pieces to be. Divide the back into 2 or three. Dont worry if these pieces are bigger, there is less meat here so it all balances out nicely. Remove all the skin. It is almost impossible to remove the skin from the wings so I just leave that.

Blend the Onions, Garlic, Peppers, Ginger and rosemary until completely smooth, then pour it over the Chicken.

Crumble the Maggi cube over the chicken and spices. Toss it arround until every piece is coated. Taste for salt and add a little to it. be Careful since tha Maggi cube has salt.
Cover it and leave in the fridge for 10 to 15, then toiss again and put on the fire to boil. The onions should provide all the moisture needed to get it started. Should the liquidc in the simmering chicken run low, add a little more 1/2  a cup at a time, you want to retain the spice and salt level so the chicken doesn't lose all the flavour. Do this for a bout 10 minutes, you want the chicken tender.

Arrange the chicken pieces on the rack and pop it in the oven. Put some water in the tray below the rack so that the chicken doesn't dry out as it browns. Turn the pieces over as they become brown. Remove them when the are evenly brown.

You can serve the chicken on a bed of Brown rice with gravy as I did, or enjoy it with drinks and friends.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...