Jollof Rice

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Personally, the need for Jollof rice is more than just a craving; it is almost a part of my DNA. Being of Nigerian descent, so many happy memories have always included Jollof rice. The aroma it produces is certain to create Serotonin (well I’d like to believe that).

So here we are, I’d like to share my simple (superstore) recipe for Jollof Rice with you.

Serves 4

Meal Prep: 30 – 45 mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins – 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups of Easy Cook Long Grain Rice (I measured with a tea mug)
  • A mixture of Chicken thighs and drumsticks (I used soft chicken, however, I recommend Hard Chicken as the stock and flavor is truly incomparable) 
  • 3 tinned Plum Tomatoes
  • 150g Tomato Puree
  • 1 or 2 Scotch Bonnets (*this depends on how much you can tolerate pepper, I used 4 Scotch bonnets because of who I am as a person)
  • 2 Sweet Red Pointed Peppers (alternative: red bell peppers)
  • 1 White Onion
  • Half of a Red Onion
  • Ginger
  • 2 or 3 Bay Leaves
  • Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
  • Seasoning: Salt, Thyme, Curry, Crayfish powder, Jumbo Chicken Stock, Knorr Chicken Cubes
  • Plantain (optional but essential)

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MEAL PREP:

The meal prep includes parboiling the chicken and the tomato sauce for the Jollof Rice.

To season the Chicken pieces, I added:

  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Curry
  • 1 tsp Jumbo Chicken Stock
  • 3 Knorr Chicken Cubes
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Half of a Scotch Bonnet
  • Half of the White Onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil

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I didn’t add any water to the pot as Soft Chicken releases water whilst cooking. I cooked the chicken for 30 minutes on low – medium heat. Once cooked, I grilled the chicken in the oven with BBQ sauce and a sprinkle of chili seeds; also setting the chicken stock (to be added to the Jollof during the cooking process) aside.

For the tomato sauce, blend in a food processor:

  • 3 Plum Tomatoes
  • 4* Scotch Bonnets
  • 2 Sweet Red pointed peppers
  • Half of the white Onion
  • Ginger

Once blended, parboil the tomato sauce for 30 minutes on medium heat. This process dries up the water content in the tomato sauce as it thickens.

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METHOD:

With the chicken in the oven and the tomato sauce ready,

  • Heat half a mug of sunflower oil, add 1 tbsp crayfish powder, 150g tomato puree and fry for 3 mins on medium heat.

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  • In the same pot, add bay leaves, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp thyme and mix for 1 min on high heat.

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  • Next, add the parboiled tomato mixture to the pot and fry for 10 – 15 mins on medium heat (stirring continuously to avoid burning the tomato sauce).
  • Next, add the chicken stock that was previously set aside to the cooking mixture, 1 tbsp salt, 6 – 8 Knorr Chicken cubes and 3 cups of water (I measured the water with a tea mug).

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  • At this point, taste the mixture, it should taste slightly overseasoned – this is important as you will be adding rice to the mixture to soak up the flavor.
  • Leave the tomato sauce to simmer on low heat as you wash the rice to be added to the mixture.
  • Add the washed rice to the simmering mixture, mixing the rice well into the tomato sauce.
  • The volume of the tomato sauce content is critical to perfecting Jollof rice and the sauce should completely cover the rice in excess. (Just as you would usually cook plain rice)
  • Cover the pot and cook on medium heat for 25 – 30 mins, until the rice grains are soft and completely cooked. (Checking the rice at 10-minute intervals to monitor the water content, and adding little water in bits if necessary)

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  • Mix the Jollof rice, garnish with red onions and cover to steam with foil for 3 – 5 mins. (optional: I usually let the jollof rice cook for a bit longer i.e 7 – 10 mins so as to get the smokey flavor and aroma from the burnt rice at the bottom of the pot)

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TO SERVE:

You can serve it on its own or with pretty much anything. I chose to serve it with the Grilled Chicken and Fried Plantain and it was amazing!

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I hope you try out this recipe, it is a long process and requires patience; however, it is well worth the wait as it is a flavorsome dinner choice filled with bursts of West African culture. (I also have a recipe on the site for what to do with leftovers if you have any: https://rikicooks.com/2018/08/02/stuffed-bell-peppers-with-a-twist/)

If you need any help or further tips for this recipe, please leave a comment below, message me on Instagram at RikiCooks or email me at rikicooks@gmail.com

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