At this point in the project, I was starting to feel a little fatigue in trying to figure out the origins of various dishes in Africa and thought maybe I would try to knock out two at once from two countries that are in close proximity and whose flavors would likely complement each other. I settled on Cameroon and Nigeria , two countries that share a border and some flavor profiles. This meal definitely brought the heat in the form of habanero peppers. The Kati Kati (though perhaps we should call it Katie Katie) chicken from Cameroon was cooked on the grill. I used chicken thighs with skin on and the flavors were fantastic. The sauce cut the spiciness a bit, which was definitely needed when you paired this with Nigerian Joloff Rice. This is the first time this technique came across my path when researching African recipes, though it will repeat itself again a few recipes from now. To really infuse the spices and heat in this rice, you add the blend of ingredients in with the water when cooking the rice. The habanero peppers really kicked it up a few notches and Matt, who loves his spice, happily ate it without putting additional hot sauce on top.
Here’s the recipe for the Kati Kati chicken: https://www.africanbites.com/african-grill-chickenkati-kati/.
The New York Times’ recipe for Joloff rice can be found here: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018069-jollof-rice, but there are many iterations of this to be found thanks to Google.
Overall Level of Effort: 2
Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Would Make It Again? Yes to the chicken, not so much to the Joloff Rice
Additional Notes: I found the Joloff Rice to be a bit too spicy for my taste, but I definitely liked the technique used to cook the rice in with the pepper/spice blend and will use that again. This chicken was just a nice change to our typical weeknight chicken efforts and I think we’ll make this one again. Fun fact: when searching for this recipe, a version of this meal was available on a website dedicated to healthy school recipes courtesy of the USDA. I found this funny as I could never have imagined a school lunch like this during my youth, but as a former USDA employee, I loved to see that creativity. Here’s their take: https://healthyschoolrecipes.com/recipes/kati-kati-baked-chicken-usda/