The recipe I am presenting is from the center of Ivory Coast, in the Baoulé land where my mum comes from. This is very simple yet full of flavors. This recipe used to feed the farmers when they were going to the bush and they took the basic ingredients and some proteins to make the sauce.
The term kédjénou comes from the action of shaking the earthen pot called “canari” covered with banana leaves and tightened with thread. So, while making kédjénou, the cooking technique is to make sure you shake it well and never open the pot until the end.
Serves 4 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes
1 whole organic boiling chicken, cut into 8 pieces
5 medium ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon Pendja pepper
2 tablespoons salt
2 scotch bonnet chilis
1 onion, diced
4 yellow eggplants, diced
1/2 liter palm wine (can be found in tropical food stores) or chicken stock
banana leaves (or pandan leaves, their flavor is divine)
Utensil : 1 clay pot or a tajine and cooking thread.
- Dice the onions and eggplants, crush the tomatoes and chilies roughly and save for later.
- Break down the chicken or ask your butcher to do so.
- In a clay pot, pot the chicken pieces skin on, over medium-high heat. Let it sauté for 10 minutes. Add all the chopped ingredients, season as desired.
- Add the palm wine, cover the pot with the banana leaves and fix it with a cooking thread.
- Cover with lid. Shake well and let simmer over medium to low heat for 35 minutes.
Make sure you shake the pot every 10 minutes, so the ingredients are well mixed.
TIPS & NOTES
- Do not open it until cook time is over.
- Remove the leaves and serve hot with fragrant steamed Thai rice or attiéké (cassava couscous).
This recipe is courtesy of Chef Paule Odile Beke in London, England. For more tips on how to prepare Afro Fusion and Pan African foods at home, be sure to read our article, “Chefs Tips for Bringing the World into Your Kitchen” for their tips and techniques.