Celebrated cook and writer Zoe Adjonyoh passionately believes we are on the cusp of an African food revolution. First published to widespread acclaim in the United Kingdom, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen began as a pop-up restaurant in London featuring dishes such as Pan-Roasted Cod with Grains of Paradise, Nkruma (Okra) Tempura, Cubeb-Spiced Shortbread, and Coconut and Cassava Cake. Soon those dishes evolved into this tempting and celebratory cookbook, newly revised and updated for American cooks.
Join Zoe as she shares the beauty of Ghana’s markets, culture, and cuisine, and tells the evocative story of using these tastes and food traditions to navigate her own identity. Whether you are familiar with the delights of Ghanaian cuisine or new to the bold flavours of West Africa, this book contains inspiration for extraordinary home cooking, in dishes such as:
- Simple Fried Plantains
- Red Red Stew
- Red Snapper and Yam Croquettes
- Bofrot Doughnuts
- Nkatsenkwan (Peanut Butter Stew with Lamb)
- Jollof Fried Chicken
- Ghana-fied Caesar Salad
- and more
With flexible recipes for hearty salads, quick and wholesome dinners, flavorful feasts, and much more, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen brings truly exciting and flavour-packed dishes into your kitchen. This is contemporary African food for simply everyone.
Jollof Fried Chicken
* By far the most popular dish on both our street-food and restaurant menus is this super-crispy and succulent fried chicken recipe—giving KFC a run for its money with all those herbs and spices in the Jollof Dry Spice Mix!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
800ml-1L (27-34oz) water
100g (3 ½ oz) sea salt
80g (3oz) honey
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Jollof Dry Spice Mix (see below)
2 tablespoons Jollof Dry Spice Mix (see below)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
½ tablespoon canola oil
200ml (7fl oz) buttermilk
500ml–1 litre (18fl oz–1¾ pints)
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
150–200g (5½–7oz) cornstarch
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
½ teaspoon (hibiscus) sea salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix together the brine ingredients and add the chicken breasts to ideally soak overnight, but at least for two hours. This is an extra step that will tenderize lean chicken breasts to ensure super juicy fried chicken, but if you don’t have time for this step, simply follow the steps below and you’ll still get a juicy-licious fried chicken.
If you followed the steps for the brine, mix 1 tablespoon of the jollof dry spice mix with sea salt, black pepper and canola oil in a large bowl. If you skipped the brine, add all 2 tablespoons of the jollof spice mix. Add the chicken strips and buttermilk to coat them. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours, and up to overnight if you haven’t already brined the chicken overnight. The buttermilk acidity and cultures will do the work of tenderizing while also providing an easy sticky surface for the coating.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based, deep saucepan filled to just under half the depth of the pan to 350–375°F or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, put the cornstarch in a separate bowl with the seasoning and nutmeg and cinnamon and mix well.
Dip each chicken strip into the seasoned cornstarch to coat evenly—try to do 4 or 5 pieces in quick succession, as you need to drop them into the hot oil straight away.
Fry the chicken, in batches, for no more than 3–4 minutes to keep them succulent and juicy yet cooked through, and golden and crispy but not burnt. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel, keeping the cooked chicken hot while you fry the rest.
It’s that easy—the best fried chicken you’re ever going to eat! Serve with Jollof (One-pot Rice), Scotch Bonnet Coleslaw or Chunky Yam Fries, with a side of Shito Mayo (see pages 142, 64, 36 and 231).
Suya Dry Spice Rub
* Suya is the king of spice rubs in Ghana, the flavouring of choice for the hugely popular street-food style of cooking on open charcoal grills. You can use this mix to marinate any meat or seafood of your choice before barbecuing or grilling. In Ghana, it’s most commonly used for barbecued chicken, beef, goat and shrimp kebabs.
MAKES ABOUT 280-230G (6¼-8¼oz)
2 teaspoons – 1½ tablespoons crushed and ground roasted peanuts or peanut powder
1½ tablespoons ground hot pepper (powdered birdseye)
3 teaspoons ground garlic
3 tablespoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons onion powder
¾ teaspoon calabash nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¾ teaspoon ground cubeb
¾ teaspoon ground grains of paradise
1¼ teaspoons sea salt
Add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil to make a wet marinade.
Mix all the ingredients for the dry spice mix together in a bowl. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place and use within a few months.
For up to 500g (1lb 2oz) meat or seafood, use 3-4 tablespoons of the dry spice mix as a rub, or mix with the oil and fresh seasonings in a bowl (the mixture will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-3 days), then rub into the tenderized meat, or seafood (see Tips, below). Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours, preferably overnight.
Simply scale the quantities given above up or down according to how much meat or seafood you are cooking.
To tenderize meat before rubbing with the marinade, gently pound with the back of a wooden spoon on both sides on a chopping board.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Hachette Book Group.