For this simple recipe, use the best ingredients you can afford, make sure you use long grain rice so it doesn’t go stodgy, and remember that the secret to great rice is investing in the flavours of the sauce. Some nations use coconut milk, others nutmeg or other earthy spices, some use partminger (an African basil leaf) and some even use Rooibos tea.
– 8 chicken thighs
– 1 tsp ground coriander
– 1 tsp ground white pepper
– Vegetable oil
– 600g cherry tomatoes, on the vine
– 4 onions, finely chopped
– 6 garlic cloves, sliced
– ½ –1 scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded and chopped
– A bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped, stalks finely chopped
– 2 tbsp tomato purée
– 500g vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped
– 750ml chicken stock
– 500g long grain rice
– 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
Method of preparation:
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. In a bowl, toss the chicken thighs with the ground coriander, white pepper and a pinch of salt. Add a bit of oil to a large saucepan and fry the chicken over a medium heat for 7–8 minutes, until browned all over. Transfer the chicken to a medium-sized roasting pan and cook in the oven for 30–40 minutes, until golden, adding the cherry tomatoes to the pan halfway through.
Meanwhile, using the same pan you browned the chicken in, add a splash of oil and sauté the onions, garlic, chili and parsley stalks over a low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and chopped tomatoes, and then pour in the chicken stock. Bring it to the boil, and then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice, pop the lid on and let it bubble away for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding water if it gets too dry. Finally, stir in the parsley leaves followed by the cooking juices and cherry tomatoes (discarding the stalk) from the roasting pan. Mix well, squashing the tomatoes into the rice.
Serve the rice with the chicken pieces on top and lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over.