Funke Kolesho is back with one of our favourite dishes, Christmas Jollof Rice. I guess we all love Jollof rice, but if any of the ingredients is not added appropriately, there would be a ‘food glitch’. UK based food expert, Funke Koleosho, shows us how to prepare a special Christmas lunch.
Here are the ingredients you will be needing
Fresh whole turkey (don’t use frozen turkey pls….common… its Christmas!)
Easy cook rice (easy cook golden basmati rice is also suitable)
Mixed sweet peppers (green, yellow, red, orange)
Brussels sprouts (or any other vegetables you can get.)
Bouillon cubes (to season the turkey)
Fresh thyme (or dried thyme if you cant get fresh. Partminger leaves are also a good substitute)
Fresh plum tomatoes or canned plum tomatoes
Scotch bonnet (yellow), remove stalk & seeds (optional)
Freshly milled or ground nutmeg
Butter (not margarine! please)
Crayfish flavour seasoning cube or the proper ground crayfish (for that added traditional taste) Optional
Smoked paprika to create the traditional smoky flavour (optional)
Cooking oil (for its health benefits, I now tend to use coconut oil in all my cooking)
What to do with your ingredients
To cook the turkey:
Chop the turkey into small bite size pieces. Lovingly remove all the bones, so your friends and family can derive maximum enjoyment from this dish! You don’t have to use the entire turkey for this recipe. the best parts to use are the thigh, wings and back of the bird. You can also use the breast but keep the skin on!
Wash turkey pieces in cold fresh water and transfer into a large bowl or pot.
Season turkey pieces with your spices (fresh thyme, curry, bouillon cube, nutmeg pimentos, crushed garlic, crushed ginger, salt, add any other of your preferred spices).
Work all spices into the meat and marinate for at least 24 hours.
Transfer the turkey piece into a large stock pot and add just enough water to cover 2/3 of the meat. Not a lot.
Cover the pot tight and allow meat to cook for about 15 minutes under high heat.
With a large wooden spoon, stir the meat pieces and check for firmness. At this stage, you do not want to overcook the turkey. Turn the heat down and cook for another 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your meat pieces.
Then turn off the heat, slightly open the cover of the pot and set meat aside. Allow the meat to sit in its juices for as long as you can allow. The longer the better as it allows the meat to soak up flavours.
Then drain off the stock (for later use) and set the meat on a baking tray. Grill meat in a hot oven for about 15 minutes or until its start to turn golden brown. Don’t worry about the meat drying out. It will become juicy again in the last step.
Simultaneously, add some oil into a large saucepan, and fry diced onions, diced sweet peppers, diced scotch bonnet, chopped garlic and ginger. Also, add some very ripe chopped tomatoes. Add some tomato paste and some previously cooked Nigerian style spicy pepper sauce to give the meat depth of flavours. (Cheat ingredient: you can use Molli’s Jollof cooking sauce as an alternative). Add some stock, stir.
Then add the grilled meat. Return to the heat and allow to simmer. Stir all ingredients together for even distribution.
To make the Jollof rice please see one of my previous posts on the ultimate guide to cooking Jollof rice here
To make the Brussels sprouts:
Cut the sprouts off the stalk and wash in clean water.
Boil some water, add some salt and add the sprouts.
Cook for about 5 minutes then plunge them into cold water. This will end the cooking process quickly and help the sprouts retain their lovely green colour.
In a separate pot, sauté more peppers and onion just as in step 10 above.
Add the sprouts and stir well for even distribution.
Serve hot with the rice and turkey.