"Flag of Ghana". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Background: First sub-Saharan African country in colonial Africa to gain independence
Location: West African, bordering Cote d'Ivoire and Togo
Size: Almost 240,000 sq km; 82nd largest in the world
Slightly smaller than Oregon
Population: About 25.75 million; 49th largest in the world
Source: CIA Worldfactbook
This one was a while ago, so bear with my memory. This was during that glorious time where first-trimester wooziness was gone and third-trimester oh-my-god-I-only-want-to-sleep hadn't started. What better to do with that time than cook African food?
As always, there was a lot of searching involved. It was a bit easier to find Ghanaian recipes than many other countries. There were lists like the 10 Ghanaian Foods You Must Eat Before You Die. Fact: I found this list after I did this cooking and picked some different foods because I couldn't remember that I had already done Ghana. AKA pregnancy brain. Now I really want Strawberry Fool.
But anyway, in the end, this recipe for Chicken Stew with Rice and Plantain was the winner. I don't entirely remember why, other than I hadn't made it yet and it didn't involve peanuts. Hurray!
Separating a chicken? I've got this down. Although, looking at the pictures, I'm pretty sure I bought one already cut up. Totally worth the little extra money.
Then some pepper, salt, garlic, and Maggi cubes. Remember those? We also used them for The Gambia. I love getting to reuse some of these things!
For some reason I really like seasoning chicken like this before you cook it. It just seems to permeate a little better. This particular cooking method was a little different than what I usually do. No oil or butter. No water. And the amount of time to cook was variable depending on the type. I didn't know what "layer" and "broiler" types meant, so I just kept a watch on it.
There was also a chance to use my missing-lid blender for the tomatoes and peppers. I don't specifically remember what kind of peppers I used, although I'm fairly certain we didn't use 10-12 like is recommended.
|Look how clean my counters were back then...|
So, you steam the chicken, and then fry it. I like where this is going...
Then you take out the chicken and start adding other things to the chicken-y oil. Onions (always onions), curry powder, tomato puree, and then the blender mixture.
In the meantime, I also started working on the plantains. Brendan colored.
The plantains basically get salted and fried. The chicken gets added to the onion, tomato, etc mixture and simmered for a while. In my case, I also started up my rice cooker. Things start to come together.
Can we talk for a second about how good curry powder smells? I really don't know why I don't use it more often. I tend to associate the word curry with Indian or Thai cuisine, which is where the terminology originated. Also, a curry powder is not just one thing, like basil or turmeric. It is a mixture of spices, and therefore not necessarily universally the same. Now you know. (Thanks Wikipedia.)
Chicken on the rice. Plantains on the side. A salad for good measure. Time to eat!
|Give me food!|
To be fair, this was quite a while ago. But, from what I remember, we liked it. It was good. Spicy. Flavorful. Good. Really spicy
I wouldn't say it wholly unique, but then again after you do a lot of food from one area that isn't too surprising. It is a slightly different way of doing something that ends up a bit familiar. But still tasty. Another African win. Yay!
Next time: Greece