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Join the African food revolution with Jollof Fried Chic...

Maverick Life

BOOK RECIPE

Join the African food revolution with Jollof Fried Chicken and Mango & Pineapple Salad from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen

Octopus/Composite: The Reading List

Home cooking getting a little stale? We’ve got just the thing. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen will help you bring something truly exciting and flavour-packed to the table.

Ghanaian food is always fun, always relaxed – and always tasty. In Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen: Traditional Ghanaian Recipes Remixed for the Modern Kitchen, Zoe Adjonyoh introduces contemporary African food for everyone.

“I believe we are on the cusp of an African food revolution,” Adjonyoh says. “There is a longing to try something that is actually new, not just re-spun, and African cuisines are filling that gap.” 

Most of the ingredients are easy to come by at supermarkets or local shops, and the recipes are very flexible – you can take the basic principles and adapt them easily to what you have available in your cupboard or fridge. 

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Jollof Fried Chicken

By far the most popular dish on both our street-food and restaurant menus is this super-crispy and succulent fried chicken recipe – I really shouldn’t be giving away the secret!
Serves 4

Ingredients 

For the Jollof Dry Spice Mix

Makes about 190g (prepare and store)
This is a great secret weapon to bring out for marinating meat before grilling, frying, baking or barbecuing. It works particularly well with chicken and fish. 

  • 25g ground ginger
  • 25g garlic powder
  • 20g dried chilli flakes
  • 35g dried thyme
  • 25g ground cinnamon
  • 15g ground nutmeg
  • 15 ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cooking salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • scant 1 teaspoon dried ground prawn/shrimp or crayfish powder (optional)

For the Jollof Fried Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons Jollof Dry Spice Mix
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 500ml–1 litre vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Coating 

  • 150–200g cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions

Mix the Jollof Dry Spice Mix, sea salt and black pepper with the rapeseed oil in a large bowl. Add the chicken strips and buttermilk and turn to coat them all over. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1–2 hours, preferably overnight.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer (the safest option) or heavy-based, deep saucepan filled to just under half the depth of the pan to 180–190°C or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.

Meanwhile, put the cornflour in a separate bowl with the seasoning and nutmeg and mix well.

Dip each chicken strip into the seasoned cornflour to coat evenly – try to do 4 or 5 pieces in quick succession, as you need to drop them into the hot oil straight away.

Fry the chicken, in batches, for no more than 3–4 minutes to keep them succulent and juicy yet cooked through, and golden and crispy but not burnt. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper, keeping the cooked chicken hot while you fry the rest.

It’s that easy – the best fried chicken you’re ever going to eat! 

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Mango & Pineapple Salad

It has to be said that Ghanaians aren’t big on salads as a mainstay of their diet, but there are plenty of wonderful fresh ingredients that can be combined to make them, so there is every opportunity to get inventive. Check out this super-simple and healthy pairing of ripe mango and pineapple with fruit juices.
Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 50ml fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 ripe mangoes, stoned, peeled and cubed
  • ½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed, or substitute 200–300g canned
  • pineapple chunks if fresh is unavailable
  • ½ cucumber, sliced (optional)
  • 200–250g rocket
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 50g spiced cashews, crushed or whole

Instructions

Mix the fruit juices together and add to the prepared mangoes and pineapple in a bowl.

If using the cucumber, cut it in half lengthways and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds, then slice into whatever shapes you prefer – I like simple half-moons.

Remove the fruit chunks from the bowl, reserving the excess juices, and gently toss with the rocket and cucumber in a separate bowl. Drizzle a little of the reserved fruit juices over the salad and add the sea salt.

Garnish with the spiced cashews and serve on a side plate. DM/ ML

Zoe Adjonyoh is a writer and cook from South-East London in the UK. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen is published by Octopus (R515). Visit The Reading List for South African book news – including recipes! – daily.

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