I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you don’t know, I am very Nigerian. I was born in Lagos and moved here to the U.K when I was eight years old.
Despite spending my adolescent years over here, I am still very much ruled by the Nigerian upbringing and culture imbibed in me during my formative years.
And that also translates into the types of food I like to eat.
I love different types of cuisines and flavours but honestly, none of it holds a candle to Nigerian food.
One common theme in any kind of cuisine is my love for finger-foods/starters/hors-d’oeuvres, whatever you want to call it- Nigerians call them “small chops”. Any kind of savoury meat snack; whew, sign me up!
Another great part of being Nigerian is that we use almost all the parts of the animals we eat so I am no stranger to eating offal. In fact, I find it very, very delicious. This recipe calls for chicken/turkey gizzard (which is a thick muscular part of a bird’s stomach). It can be purchased at most halal butchers and is quite cheap. The “dodo” part of the recipe is what we Nigerians affectionately call fried plantain. They can be purchased at most Afro-Caribbean grocery stores and are also relatively cheap.
An important point to make is that with most of my recipes that call for any type of meat to be boiled, it will always be done in a pressure cooker (because honestly who has 28,407 hours to sit there and watch meat boil amiright?)
Chicken or Turkey Gizzard
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Red Bell Pepper
2 Medium Onions
3 tbsp of Rapeseed Oil
1 clove of Garlic (chopped into fine pieces)
2 Scotch Bonnets
4 stock cube (maggi/knorr)
1 tsp of Basil
1 tsp of Thyme
1 tsp of Curry Powder
A pinch of Nutmeg
Enough oil to shallow fry the plantain
Prep time – 15 mins
Rinse the gizzard in a bowl of warm water and a splash of vinegar.
Using a sharp knife, chop the gizzard into smaller bitesize pieces and place in the pressure cooker.
Chop 1 medium onion and 1 scotch bonnet and add to the gizzard.
Season with 2 stock cubes and garlic and stir.
Close the cooker and put it on medium-high heat. Once the valve on the cooker starts hissing (indicating that it’s cooking under pressure), lower the heat and leave to cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
Cooking time – 20 mins
Cooking (sauce for gizzard):
Blend together the chopped tomato, bell pepper, medium onion and scotch bonnet until smooth.
In a saucepan, heat the rapeseed oil on medium-high heat (but do not let it start to smoke) and once hot enough, pour in the tomato mixture to fry.
Fry the mixture for 5-7 minutes and lower the heat for it to continue simmering for an additional 10 minutes.
Season with the remaining stock cubes, basil, thyme, curry powder and nutmeg and let simmer on low heat for a further 5 minutes.
Add the cooked gizzard to the mixture and set aside.
Cooking time – 15 mins
If you’ve never peeled a plantain before, please visit HERE.
Once peeled, slice the plantain down the middle into two halves. Next, take the two halves and slice each down the middle again into longitudinal quarters and then slice each long quarter into bite-sized chunks.
Shallow fry the plantain until browned all over and drain on some kitchen towels to remove the excess oil.
Add the fried plantain to the gizzard mix and stir until the sauce covers all the plantain.
Extra tip: some people fry the cooked gizzard before adding it to the tomato mix but patience is not one of my strong points and I cannot come and die.
Fun fact about me: I love meat. I really, really do.
I don’t think I’ve ever made a vegetarian meal in my life (at least willingly).
While I enjoy eating and cooking copious amounts of meat, I find that chicken is always at the bottom of the list of meats I make. It’s a little boring to me and prefer playing with red meats.
However, every once in a while a very silly craving for chicken will hit me and it won’t go away until I have done with it what my soul desires.
Thus we have this post.
I wanted chicken, I wanted Caribbean food and I wanted it immediately.
So I made it.
Vegetable oil – 1tbsp
3 cloves of garlic (chopped into fine pieces)
2 stock cubes (maggi/knorr)
Crushed habanero chilli flakes or 2 scotch bonnets
Jerk seasoning (Dunns River is my favourite to use)
3 cups of rice (any type is fine- I only had basmati available)
1 can of red kidney beans
1 can of coconut milk
Prep time – 15 mins
This step is optional but I always wash all my meat in warm water with a splash of vinegar
Put the chicken, vegetable oil, half the chopped garlic, stock cubes, chilli flakes/scotch bonnets and jerk seasoning into a mixing bowl and mix together until all the chicken is covered.
Leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Wash the rice by putting the rice in a bowl, submerging in warm water and stirring. Tilt the bowl to pour out the starchy water. Repeat this step until the water remains clear.
Put the rice in a large saucepan.
Pour the red kidney beans into the saucepan.
Use a measuring cup to pour the coconut milk into the saucepan. (It’s usually about 2 cups). This step is important because you will subtract this number from the amount of water you put in the rice.
Season with salt, thyme and the remaining garlic.
Cooking time for rice – 20 minutes
Cooking time for the chicken – 30 minutes
Cooking the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees(gas mark 5)
Place the chicken on a foil-lined oven tray skin side down and leave to bake for 15 minutes.
Turn the chicken thighs so the skin is facing upwards and leave to cook for a further 15 minutes.
Remove from oven once the juices run clear and the skin is nice and crispy.
Cooking the rice:
(For every cup of rice, use 1.5 cups of water to cook)
Boil water in a kettle
Add the boiling water to the rice (subtracting the number of cups that was used to add the coconut milk- so if 4.5 cups of water is needed to cook 3 cups of rice, and 2 cups of coconut milk was added to the rice, only 2.5 cups of water needs to be added to the rice).
Who knew cooking required so much maths?
Once the rice starts to boil, lower the heat and cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
Leave the rice to simmer for about 15-18 minutes then remove for heat and leave to steam in the saucepan for a further 2-5 minutes..
Use a fork to fluff the rice and mix the kidney beans throughout.
Extra tip: use the stock from the chicken as a sauce for the rice.