Hope you all had a wonderful Easter. I decided to prepare something befitting for this day. If you are spending this time with family and friends, this will be a lovely recipe to ‘whip’ up like a pro. Speaking of family, I remember when I was very little, sitting on my little kitchen chair on Easter day, watching my mother prepare a special meal for the family. I would help her with the ’big little’ tasks I could handle at the time and diligently waiting to sample everything tasty :-). Back then, peeling an onion or picking leafy vegetables (separating leaves from the stem) seemed to be huge tasks that went on forever. Now, looking back, I can only but smile.

I Would love to hear some of your Easter day food memories growing up or what you had for lunch or dinner this Easter. Include in the comment box below. For now, let’s dive into this Jollof rice recipe, Jollof rice and Chicken drumsticks. Jollof rice is a popular dish in many parts of West Africa, and now being adopted in some other parts of the world. There are many variations of this dish depending on flavor preference, ingredients and creativity. The main or basic ingredients are rice, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper, onions and seasoning. Jollof rice is normally served with a side dish and some form of protein; meat,fish e.t.c

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In this recipe, I chose to use bits of smoked turkey for that added smoked flavor. Alternatively,any smoked meat will do, or smoked bacon. There will be bits of smoked turkey in every bite. The chicken drumsticks were marinated with coconut milk and spices. Coconut flavor goes really great with pineapple, so a slice of pineapple on the side will do just fine for this recipe . The pineapple slice was grilled on a skillet for that extra special flavor from the natural sugars in the fruit.

Ingredients

Oven baked chicken drumsticks

• 6 chicken drumsticks
• 2 tsp onion powder (alternatively use fresh chopped onions)
• 1 tsp dry thyme
• 1 tsp curry powder
• 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder or 1 cube
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or fresh regular milk (optional)

Jollof Rice

• 3 cups long grain rice (uncle ben’s or parboiled rice)
• 2 cups chopped smoked turkey (alternatively,use smoked bacon or other smoked meat)
• 2 large tomatoes
• 1 small habanero pepper (alternatively 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper)
• 1 medium red onion, sliced
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 canned tomato paste
• 1/4 cup canola oil (alternatively use olive oil or vegetable oil)
• 1/2 Tbsp butter
• 1 tsp dry thyme
• 1 tsp curry powder
• 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder or 2 cubes
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 2 boiled eggs for side
• 1 slice of pineapple as a side
• Small basil fresh leaves, slices of carrots and green bell pepper for garnish (optional)

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Preparation

Oven baked chicken drumsticks

  1. The night before, wash chicken drumsticks, place in a bowl and add all ingredients listed for the chicken drumsticks. Mix and store in the refrigerator to marinate overnight. Alternatively, if you are marinating the chicken the same day, allow to marinate for 2-3hrs.
  2. Bake in a 350 degrees F, pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes or until drumsticks are fully baked and golden brown.

Jollof Rice

  1. Wash and put rice in boiling water seasoned with 1 tsp salt. Boil rice till it is aldente’ or partially cooked. You don’t want the rice fully cooked at this point. Transfer rice into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Blend tomatoes, pepper and garlic.
  3. Heat 1 cup of canola oil in a pot. Add onions and sauté for 30 seconds.
  4. Add canned tomatoes, smoked turkey and butter. Stir and cook for 1 minute then add the blended tomatoes.Add seasoning (curry powder, thyme, chicken bouillon and salt),stir and cook for 4 minutes.Taste sauce for flavor,add more seasoning as needed.
  5. Add rice and fold into sauce till sauce is fully incorporated with rice. Cover the pot and cook for 5minutes or until rice is fully cooked.
  6. In a grill skillet, heat 1/2 tsp butter . Place pineapple on skillet and grill on both sides till golden brown.

Serve Jollof rice with chicken, pineapple and boiled eggs. Garnish with basil leaves, slices of carrots and green bell pepper.

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Enjoy!