Location: Western Africa, between Ghana and Liberia
Area: Almost 325,000 sq km; 69th largest in the world
Slightly smaller than New Mexico
Geography: Except for the capital, most people live along the coastal region
Population: Almost 22 million; 55th largest in the world
HIV/AIDS deaths: 36000 in 2009; 12th highest in the world
UN: 9000 forces present since 2004
Source: CIA Factbook
The national dish of Cote d'Ivoire is fufu. We already tried that once. Well, kinda. Didn't go so well. I decided to try something else this time. Something fun and new and full of potential. Something with a name like chicken and plantain curry. That sounds about right. I did a search for the French version of the name, and got a bunch of sites, in French, that mentioned Cote d'Ivoire. Seemed legit to me!
I was especially excited because it involved a lot of ingredients I have eaten before, but never cooked. Plantains, papayas, sweet potatoes. New, but not scary. Baby steps. Plus, I was able to find everything I needed without going to dozens of stores, which is always a bonus.
I already had all of the ingredients needed for brushing the chicken thighs, which is pretty cool.
|I believe this has already come up before, but groundnut oil is peanut oil.|
|These plantains were huge. And possibly not ripe.|
|Yay sticker reside.|
|Dramatic reading picture taken by my sister.|
|My sister Sarah-Anne and her friend Jason were visiting us, so they got to partake.|
The papayas were fine, but nothing special. Sarah-Anne really liked them. This might just be part of liking papayas in general, though. The plantains were probably the most disappointing part. They were still very tough and hadn't absorbed any flavor. I believe there are two culprits here. One is their gigantic size. I know plantains are usually large, but not always this ridiculous. The other was their level of ripeness. Having them be more aged might have allowed them to give some more of their flavor to the surrounding items as well as picking some up.
The rice was good with some of the juices coming off of the chicken. And the bread was actually quite yummy, although a little hard. Dipping them in olive oil helped. I plan to make them again, just with a little less baking time.
Overall, this was one of the best African dishes we have had. I think some of my complaints could be fixed easily. Cut up the sweet potatoes into smaller pieces, and maybe only have two of them. Smaller, more ripe plantains. Those could also be cut up. And more chicken. Because that part was amazing.
We all left full and happy, so I call that a success. Yay! Now we actually leave the African continent for a little while as we continue our journeys.
Have you had better experiences with including fruit in curries? Any tips to share?
Next time: Croatia