Holiday Recipes


African Jollof rice with plantains

A traditional West African dish, there are as many recipes for Jollof Rice as there are cooks who make it. This version contains chicken and is topped with delicious fried plantains.

2 tbsp. (30 mL) olive or vegetable oil
1 lb. (500 g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) pieces
4 cups (1 L) chicken broth
2 large onions, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 or 2 fresh hot peppers, if desired (or hot pepper flakes to taste)
4 cups (1 L) mixed diced or chopped vegetables (green beans, carrots, green or red peppers, mushrooms — any combination you like)
2 cups (500 mL) canned crushed or pureed tomatoes
2 cups (500 mL) par boiled or converted rice (like Uncle Benís — not instant)
1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
2 large ripe plantains
vegetable oil for frying

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until lightly browned — about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil behind, and transfer to a Dutch oven or large covered saucepan. Set aside.
  2. In the same skillet, cook the onions and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the mixed vegetables and continue to cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup (250 mL) of the chicken broth (reserve the rest) and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer everything to the pot with the chicken. Add the remaining chicken broth and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in the rice and salt, cover the pot with a lid and immediately lower the heat as low as possible — it should be just barely simmering. Cook, stirring once in a while to prevent sticking, until the rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed — about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the plantains. Peel the plantains and slice them crosswise on a diagonal to make 1/4-inch (.5 cm) thick oblong slices. Pour enough vegetable oil into a medium saucepan, wok or deep fryer to a depth of 1-1/2 to 2 inches (4 to 5 cm). Place over medium heat and heat to 375° F (190° C) — use a deep fry thermometer to make sure. When the oil is hot, begin cooking the plantain slices in batches, 6 to 8 slices at a time, until deep golden brown — about 4 or 5 minutes. Drain on paper towel, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat until all the plantain slices are fried.
  4. Arrange plantain slices on top of Jollof Rice in a serving platter or bowl.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.

How kids can help:


Trim and cut up vegetables for the recipe.


Stir the ingredients while cooking (with adult supervision).


Peel and slice the plantains.
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