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JOLLOF RICE (West Africa)
Rice with Chicken, Beef and Ham
To serve 6

2 to 2 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 pound lean boneless beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
3 medium-sized firm ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 fresh hot chili, about 3 inches long, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 medium-sized bay leaf
2 cups chicken or beef stock, fresh or canned
2 cups water
1/2 pound lean boneless smoked ham, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice

Pat the pieces of chicken and beef dry with paper towels, and
sprinkle them on all sides with the salt and a few grindings of
pepper. In a heavy 3- to 4-quart casserole, heat 3 tablespoons of
the oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it.
Brown the chicken in the hot a few pieces at a time, starting them
skin side down and turning them from time to time with tongs. As
they brown, transfer the pieces to a plate. Add 3 more tablespoons
of oil to the casserole and brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches,
turning the pieces frequently and regulating the heat so that they
color richly and evenly without burning. Add the beef to the
chicken and set aside.

Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the casserole and drop in
the onions. Stirring and scraping in the browned particles that
cling to the bottom and sides of the pan, cook for about 5 minutes,
or until the onions are soft and lightly colored. Watch carefully
for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly. Add
the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, chili, ginger and bay leaf.
Raise the heat to high and, still stirring, cook for 5 minutes, or
until most of the liquid in the pan has evaporated and the mixture
is thick enough to hold its shape almost solidly in a spoon.

Stir in the stock and water, and return the beef to the casserole.
Add the ham and turn the meats about in the sauce until the pieces
are evenly coated. Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat to
low and simmer partially covered for about 30 minutes. Add the
chicken and the liquid that has accumulated around it, baste it
with the sauce, and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Then gently stir
in the rice. Return the mixture to a simmer, cover partially, and
cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the beef is tender and almost
all of the liquid in the pan has been absorbed by the rice. Remove
the casserole from the heat, cover tightly, and let the rice rest
for 15 minutes before serving.

Jollof rice is traditionally served with hot boiled cabbage or
spinach and slices of hard-cooked eggs.


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