Kedjenou, a slow cooked chicken stew, is a traditional and signature dish in Cote d'Ivoire. The chicken and vegetables are placed in a jar shaped clay cooking pot known as a canary that's tightly sealed with banana leaves and cooked over hot coals. The pot is shaken occasionally to prevent the food from sticking. In fact, the word kedjenou is from the African language of Baoulé and means "to shake". We used a cast iron dutch oven that has a tight fitting lid, but you could also use a regular pot and cover the top with a sheet of aluminum foil first (pinching it along the edge of the pot) then placing cover over the foil. It's important the seal is tight in order to keep in the moisture and steam, because no liquid is added to this dish. Kedjenou is usually served with attiéké, a couscous like dish made from grated and fermented cassava. I haven't been able to source this so we served it with rice (which is also common). This is a really tasty meal, perfect during the colder months of the year!
- 1 whole chicken, cut into parts (2-3 pounds)
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 eggplant, coarsely chopped
- 3 red peppers, coarsely chopped (this is often made with green peppers, or a combination of both, but I don't like green peppers)
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped (for spice - optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
- salt & pepper to taste
1. Chop all the ingredients, combine and stir together into a dutch oven, or equivalent.
|A kedjenou clay pot (canari) |
tightly sealed with banana leaves
2. Cook on medium-low heat until cooked, for about one hour - do not lift the lid. About every 10 minutes, give the pot a shake. (It's quite the exercise in a cast iron dutch oven!)
3. Let rest for a few minutes. Serve with rice and enjoy!