The key to understanding the basics of Jollof is no different from understanding the basics of life – this is not an exaggeration, it is truth. Before I share my Jollof recipe with you, allow me to let you in on a little known secret about this delightful meal.
Uhm… okay! I changed my mind. It remains my secret.
Salt. Powdered Herrings. Powdered Shrimps. Rosemary. Nkiti-Nkiti. Robertson’s Chicken Spice
Onions. Garlics. Ginger. Tomatoes. Pepper. Green Pepper. French Beans. Tomato Puree
STAGE 1: SEASONING THE CHICKEN
The secret to seasoning chicken is the duration. The longer the mixed spices are marinated in the fresh chicken, the spicier and flavoured the chicken when cooked and/or fried. My chicken was fresh from the farm so I had to cut the parts myself.
- Wash the pieces of chicken into a clean saucepan
- Blend a mix of onion, garlics, ginger, Rosemary and Nkiti-Nkiti, and Green pepper seeds
- Add to your chicken in the saucepan with a reasonable amount of salt
- Stir evenly
- Put it on fire
STAGE 2: THE STEW (PRE-JOLLOF)
The secret to sweet Jollof is onions. Let’s not also forget that too much onions will give the Jollof a pale look. We are aiming for the best shade of orange.
- Blend a mixture of tomatoes and pepper, with a scoop of tomato puree and water
- Put it on fire let it simmer till effervescence settles on the top
- Blend a mixture of 2 large onions with the Green pepper fruits
- Slice some onions if you prefer some sliced
- Pour your sliced onions in a hot saucepan with oil and stir for about 1min
- Pour your onion mix and stir
- Leave it for about 3min let it simmer
- Add your cooked tomato mix
Your chicken should be ready by now.
- Pour a reasonable amount of chicken stock from the steamed chicken into the stew
- Stir the stew and leave for a few more minutes
You’ll know when stew is ready, wouldn’t you? Yeah! 😆
STAGE 3: THE JOLLOF
Whoop! Whoop!! We’re finally here. Some will prefer not to wash the rice because they don’t want excess water in the Jollof. Unlike the others, I’ve grown learning how to cover and wash things in the kitchen. This rice gotta get rinsed! 😯
Okay so here is the most important part of Jollof Basics. You’ll need the right amount of rice proportionate with the stew on the fire to create the single-grain finished result, else you might get reviews like “it was really nice, but too soft” or “it tasted great, but too hard”.
The secret to successfully passing this stage is to know the rice you’re using. Some rice do well with less liquid, some do well with more. If you don’t have trust issues and want to try out new rice with Jollof, Hey! Why not?!
- Rinse out dirt from the rice
- Pour your rice into your stew and stir
- Taste for salt and add suitably
- Add the french beans
STAGE 4: STIRRING THE JOLLOF
Jollof is NOT stirred in a circular motion. The moment the rice enters the stew, it is TURNED instead of STIRRED, reason being that we’re trying to get every grain on top as evenly cooked as the grains on the bottom of the pan.
- Cover it with the lid and return between every 5-10min to turn
At this point, the fire should be on low heat. It is the heat that will cook the rice and not the water so avoid adding too much water. Where you realize some water is needed, sprinkle seemly salty water solution and turn evenly.
STAGE 5: FRYING THE CHICKEN
I usually do Stage 3 and Stage 5 at the same time so I can move to Stage 6 faster.
STAGE 6: DESSERT
It was a stressful long weekend which started early for more so I didn’t want to stress it at all. I found some watermelon in the fridge and sliced it with some cucumber for dessert.
THERE YOU HAVE IT!