So I am working with a team of amazing people on a project and I am really lucky to have their input. For one of our meetings, I thought it was the least I could do to cook them some dinner. To start, we had my Agege Bread Bruschettas, this chicken and rice dish for main, and a Sherry Mango and Blackberry Torte for dessert – are you feeling the Naija Fusion vibe ;)? I will put up separate posts for the starter and dessert as I think it is a little bit much to lump them into one post. One of the guys is vegetarian, so instead of chicken, I seasoned up some chickpeas up separately in the same way as the chicken and that was his protein element. Speaking of chicken, remember I mentioned a while back that I found it to be boring? I’ve found that ever since I discovered kosher salt, chicken tastes so much better. Something about the kosher salt and a splash of vinegar just tenderises it and takes the seasoning deeper into the meat. I don’t know how else to describe it! But without further ado here are pictures of this interesting take on rice and chicken, which was made up on the fly. Rice doesn’t have to be boring. The recipe is way down below. Enjoy 🙂
For the chicken
2 packs of skinless chicken thighs (about 16 thighs in all) – I got these from Shoprite
1 can of chickpeas
1 coconut, sliced into thin strips (use a freshly cracked coconut, not dessicated coconut)
1 onion, sliced
1 tablespoon of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of grated garlic
3 scotch bonnet peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 teaspoons of whole mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of tandoori spice mix
1/2 teaspoon of ground clove
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
Juice of one lemon
A splash of apple cider vinegar
Moi moi or uma leaves (2 leaves per piece of chicken)
For the rice
4 cups of jasmine or basmati rice
7 cups of water + 1 cup of freshly brewed Rooibos tea
Half an onion finely diced
1 teaspoon of whole mustard seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
For the pepper shots aka ‘stew’
1/2 a small onion finely diced
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
6 scotch bonnets or chillis, chopped finely
Salt or stock cube to taste
For the chicken
- Wash the chicken, drain, and season with everything on the ingredient list. I buy skinless thighs, but if yours don’t come skinned, then skin them before you marinade (I’m not a fan of chicken skin AT ALL). Let the marinaded chicken sit for a few minutes. You can prep this in advance and leave to marinade in the fridge if you are prepping the meal in advance.
- When you’re ready, make the moi moi leaves into a cone, the same way you do for moi moi and wrap the chicken in the leaves. Before you seal each parcel, drop three slices of coconut in.
- Place the sealed parcels onto a steaming rack at the bottom of a large pot.
- If you are veggie, season the chickpeas with the exact same spices as I’ve used on the chicken, just in smaller proportions. Wrap up in moi moi leaves the same way, with the coconut and all. One 400g tin of chickpeas makes about 4 – 5 parcels.
- I placed the chickpea parcels on top of the chicken ones in the pot and steamed them all together on low heat for 1.5 hours.
- Now begin on the rice
For the rice
- Wash the rice and then soak it for half an hour to get rid of the starch
- Drain it off, and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the bottom of a pan.
- When it begins to bubble gently, toss in the cracked black pepper and mustard seeds
- Add the onions and salt and stir gently
- Now add the rice, and stir until it is all coated with the butter
- Pour over the water and tea, stir, and then turn the heat down until the rice is cooked.
- Heat the oil til very hot in a small pan
- Add the onions, tomatoes and pepper
- Stirfry it together for a 5 minutes
- Season with salt or stock cube to taste
- Remove from the heat and pour into shot glasses, ready for serving
- Top and tail, and peel off the tough ribbons on each side
- Blanch them in boiling salty water for 30 seconds
- Drain and serve