Here is how to make phenomenal Nigerian Jollof Rice complete with tasty fried chicken on the side. It is the African rice and chicken meal you will want to make over and over again. Watch the video to see me walk you through the process.
Wash chicken thoroughly and place in a pot. If using a whole chicken, cut into little pieces before placing in the pot. Add water to just about the level of the chicken (I used 4 cups of water). To the chicken, add half a teaspoon of salt, 2 seasoning cubes half a teaspoon of thyme, half a teaspoon of rosemary and all the garlic and ginger powder. Mix to ensure seasoning coats all of the chicken. Cover and let it cook on medium high heat for about 20 minutes.
Drain chicken from the stock. Keep the stock for later. Place oil in a frying pan up to 2 inches and let it heat up to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chicken in the oil and fry until golden brown flipping halfway through. About 2 minutes on each side. (Alternately, place the chicken on a baking pan and broil in the oven for about 20 minutes. Grilling is good too and healthier!)
Roughly chop then blend together the fresh tomatoes, onion and bell pepper (remove seeds from bell pepper before blending). Place in a pot and bring to a boil. Let them cook on high heat until the water in the tomato blend dries out. Add in the tomato sauce and stir then add in the oil.
Fry the tomatoes in the oil until they visibly shrink. About 10 minutes.
To the tomatoes, add the curry, and thyme then stir. Then add in 5 cups of liquid (the chicken stock you reserved plus more water if needed). Add the bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 seasoning cubes (or teaspoons of bouillon powder). Stir well then wash the rice and add to the pot. Stir well then carefully wrap the top of the pot with aluminum foil before covering with the lid of the pot. Let it cook on medium heat for about 30 minutes until the rice absorbs all the liquid and is soft.
When the rice is done, you might still see concentrates of tomato sauce over the rice. This is very normal. Spinke the white pepper on top then gently stir rice with a wooden spoon to combine. (See note 3)
Serve warm with the fried/grilled chicken on the side.
1. Chicken cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken so be sure to adjust as needed. If your chicken slices are too big, cook for a longer time.
2. Substitute the seasoning cubes with bouillon powder. 1 teaspoon per 1 cube.
3. To make your Jollof Rice tastier, place 3 tablespoons of butter in the on the rice once it is done and mix it in to melt. This takes the taste to a whole new level!
4. You can garnish with your jollof rice with carrots and peas before serving if you wish.
5. Jollof Rice might burn at the bottom when you cook it. That is perfectly okay and it learns the rice a smokey flavor that is to die for.