Blender-less, chilli-less Jollof (and it tasted YUMMY)
First of all let me apologise, I don’t do measurements .. I like to cook by taste (because I’m always too hungry to not taste in-between; and no this does not make me not want to eat my food at the end, I can always eat even after cooking for hours).
So I had no blender, hopefully by the time this is posted I will have purchased a blender, and I also forgot to buy some form of chillies- be it scotch bonnets, green chillis, finger chillies (or whatever the skinny ones are called) or even plain chilli powder.
What did I have?
A box of chopped tomatoes
A green pepper (I didn’t have a whole red one)
Seasoning: Knorr cubes, spicy paprika, black pepper, basil, rosemary & salt (everything I cook has these in it- sometimes I don’t add the rosemary and the basil)
And here’s what I did:
-I started with my chicken: cleaned and rinsed it, then added an onion and all the spices (minus salt) listed above. I left it to sit a while, some call this marinating.
-Okay so as I didn’t have a blender I finely chopped two onions (they were more like shallots) and put them in a pan with some olive oil. Then I added my box of chopped tomatoes and finely chopped the green pepper and added it in too.
-I added all the spices listed above (except rosemary) and left it covered on a low heat. After about 10 minutes and some drying out rather than steaming I added some water and an extra knorr cube and covered it with foil paper in the hopes of some steaming action.
Back to my chicken ...
-I started cooking the chicken on a low heat because I was going to need some stock for my Jollof (it could have just been roasted or grilled at this point though). I added half a mug of water, a little salt and another knorr cube and let it boil for about 20 minutes.
-I then put the chicken in the oven and poured the chicken stock (minus the onions) into the tomato sauce.
-At this point I started tasting my sauce to make sure it was OVER seasoned. If it wasn’t too sweet or the salt/maggi combo wasn’t evident I would add more till it was clearly too much, I also kept adding little amounts of water to make sure the sauce wasn’t too thick. This over seasoning is essential for tasty jollof.
-25minutes later and my chicken is ready and my sauce is good to go.
-Next I washed some rice (however much I thought would be enough for the sauce) and added it into the sauce and turned it all together. I covered it with some foil then the actual pot cover and left it to steam for about 5-10minutes.
TIP: My Ghanaian hunnies taught me that you need to stir/turn basmati jollof otherwise it turns to mush! So I did this every 10-15minutes when I checked the rice.
-After the first 10minutes it was clear I had added too much rice – my jollof was looking like rice and stew- so I added some tomato paste, which I had mixed with water, and stirred my rice again.
-After the next 15minute sesh, the rice was almost done, so I sprinkled some water on it, so it wouldn’t burn and would have something to steam … this time I didn’t cover the pot but left the foil as a cover on its own.
-And 10-15mins later .. it was ready
-I had mine with some yummy salad – and sweet chilli sauce as dressing (it’s probably less unhealthy than thousand island) and a side of apple juice.