Sunday, 25 July 2010

Jollof Rice with Chicken

We first had this as cooked for us by our old neighbour Pat and his wife Faye. It was amazing and I have no idea whether this is a faithful representation or not but it tastes pretty good so we don't complain!

Serves 2 at approximately 6 Points each (and it's HUGE)


400g (2 large) chicken breasts, skinless, diced small
1 butternut squash, peeled, diced, roasted with a bit of salt and spray oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 pack of fine green beans. sliced into 1-2cm lengths
1 big courgette, chopped
1 big onion, diced finely
4-5 cloves of garlic (we LOVE garlic)
big squeeze of tomato puree
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes in juice
3 tbsp jollof seasoning
80g basmati rice
1 chicken stock cube (we like Kallo Organic, but whatever floats your boat)
180ml boiling water

First begin by setting your oven to the highest it'll go and putting the oven shelf up near the top. Then, peel, deseed and dice your squash. Dice it quite small; you want it to be bite size and I personally like it to be a bit charred and chewy but I appreciate that's not everyone's taste! Put it in a roasting tray with some spray oil and a good sprinkle of salt. When the oven gets up to speed it needs to go in for 10-minute intervals, turning it at every ten, for about 20-30 minutes til it's as done as you like it. When it's done it can be put to one side if you're not ready with everything else.

While that's doing get the rest of the dish ready. Start with the diced chicken - get that browning thoroughly and while that's happening, get your onion chopped, your garlic crushed, your pepper and courgette diced and your beans cut up. When the chicken's browned add the onions and garlic, get them softened and caramelised a bit, and then add the other vegetables and the jollof seasoning. Give it a few minutes with the lid on for everything to soften, then add the tomato puree, the chicken stock and the canned tomatoes (and your squash if it's ready out of the oven).

When everything is looking like it's starting to come down, add the rice and water, stir well, cover it, turn it right down and go and have a sit down for ten minutes. After that it's just a case of regularly checking and stirring to make sure it's not all sticking and you're away really.

Serve it with a big side salad and I defy you to be hungry for another three days afterwards.

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