Posts Tagged With: Nigerien

Mauretanian Chicken Vegetable Stew (maru we-ilham)

Mauretanian Entree

MARU WE-ILHAM
(chicken vegetable stew)

INGREDIENTSMaruIlWelham-

3 chicken breasts
1 small cassava root
1 small eggplant
⅔ head cabbage
2 carrots
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
1 pili pili pepper (or other red chile pepper or ¼ teaspoon cayenne)
4 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2½ tablespoons Dijon or prepared mustard
2 cups rice
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Makes about 12 bowls. You can make only 6 bowls by cutting the ingredients in half, but what will you do with that ½ cassava root and ½ eggplant that’s left over? E-Bay perhaps?

PREPARATION

Slice chicken breasts, cassava root, and eggplant into 1″ cubes. Shred cabbage. Cut carrots into ½” thick slices. Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion. Remove seeds from pili pili or other chile pepper and dice. Add butter, chicken cubes, garlic, and onion to large pot. Sauté on medium-high for 5 minutes or until onion softens and chicken starts to brown. Stir frequently. Add chicken broth. Bring to boil using high heat. Reduce heat to low. Add bay leaf, eggplant, carrot, cabbage, cassava, chile pepper, Dijon mustard, rice, black pepper, and salt. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until rice becomes tender.

TIDBITS

1) Eggplant is important to Mauretanian cooking. This mighty vegetable figures prominently in other Saharan cuisines as well such as: Ivorian, Nigerien, and Burkinabe.

2) Why? Because in 1073 A.D., culinary warriors from the forgotten Saharan city of Aubergine started a war of conquest. The cleaver wielding Aubergine warriors could not abide the vegetable selections to be found in their newly added lands. So they imposed their eggplant on the Sahara. They diverted entire popultations to the production and harvesting of eggplant. Eggplant became a mandatory part of every meal. Over the years, the natives came to love the vegetable and wouldn’t think of dining without it. Gosh, I sure hope there won’t ever be any lutefisk-loving armies.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nigerien Peanut Chicken Stew

Nigerien Entree

PEANUT CHICKEN STEW

INGREDIENTSPeanutChickenStew-

3 chicken breasts
1 small eggplant*
1 leek
1 medium onion
3 potatoes
4 tomatoes
4½ tablespoons peanut butter
2½ tablespoons peanut oil
1 cup chicken broth
1 pili pili pepper (or Thai chile, Fresno chile, bird’s eye pepper, or ½ teaspoon cayenne)
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

* = Not everyone loves eggplant. Don’t worry though if you hate eggplant. You don’t have to put it in the recipe and you needn’t worry about being unauthentic for excluding it. Most of the time cooks use whatever vegetables are at hand. If a guest queries you about the missing eggplant–and how many people do you know have knowledge of Nigerien cuisine?–simply say, “Sorry, this recipe comes from a region of Niger where they simply don’t have eggplant.” If the guest still complains, zap him with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts into 1″ cubes. Cut eggplant into ½”-thick slices. Dice leek. and onion. Cut potatoes into 1″ cubes. Remove seeds from chile pepper. Dice chile pepper.

Peel skins from tomatoes. A good way to do this is by boiling the tomatoes. Add water to pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. While water is coming to boil, make a cut all the way around each of the tomatoes. Put tomatoes in boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove tomatoes and place them in a bowl of ice water. The skins should come off easily. Now dice tomatoes.

Add chicken cubes, leek, onion, and peanut oil in large pot. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until chicken cubes and leek and onion soften. Stir frequently. Reduce heat to low Add chicken broth, eggplant, peanut butter, potato, tomato, chile pepper, pepper, and salt. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until potato cubes are soft. Peanut chicken stew goes well with white rice.

TIDBITS

1) Niger’s women give birth to 7.37 children. That’s an average, of course. Still, it makes you think. Nigerien women eat eggplant. They have lots of kids. Presumably, one could practice birth control by not eating any eggplant.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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