- Main IngredientsRice, Chicken Broth, French beans,Carrot, Canned green Peas, Cabbage, Liver, Onions, Garlic, Salt, Vegetable oil, Curry, Dry thyme, Poultry seasoning, Knorr chicken stock cube
- Level Of CookingMedium
Retro Nigerian Fried Rice
The rate at which food is evolving especially Nigerian food, because let’s be honest, Nigerian food though delicious, has basically stayed the same until recently and boom! Just like that, people started getting really creative with food fusion, balancing flavours and presentation. It’s great. We’re finally having fun with our food.
As much as I enjoy the new age Nigerian food fusion, sometimes I like to do a little throwback because you can hardly go wrong with food when you keep it simple and original. Also because I like the feeling of nostalgia I get whenever I’m cooking something exactly how my mum taught me.
A little back story on Retro Fried Rice
Growing up, there weren’t many families I knew that did Christmas like my family. I mean we went the whole nine yards. For instance, in Nigeria it is common to buy artificial Christmas trees to decorate our homes when the season comes around. So by the first week in December at the latest, almost every shop owner puts out artificial trees for sale.
You can see a shop where beans, garri, rice, and dried fish are sold and you’ll see some Christmas trees standing in the corner for sale. Everybody has to make some extra cash somehow right?
Anyway, in my family, Christmas was such a huge deal that we didn’t buy an artificial tree. In hindsight that would’ve been easier because all we needed to do was bring it out of storage, dust it off and decorate. So every December, we took a drive to some place that I can’t quite remember because I was little but I know they had a lot of tall and pretty pine trees. We looked for a nice sizable tree and chopped it off and took it home to decorate.
And then came the Fried Rice
My mum used to make the most amazing Fried Rice I have ever eaten, at Christmas. The only other person I knew who made great Fried Rice like hers was my Late aunt Josephine. Coincidentally my mum’s name is also Josephine. Everyone always had seconds and sometimes thirds of my mum’s Fried Rice. It tasted even better the following day.
I like all the new things we add to our Fried Rice these days, to make it rich and colourful, but this post is dedicated to the Old school, throwback, retro Nigerian Fried Rice. Whatever you choose to call it, just know it’s a blast from the past.
It’s a pretty simple recipe, if you stick to the steps. Don’t try to be smart. I like to call this process “because Mama said so.”
- 2 cups of Rice
- Chopped, 2 cups of Cabbage
- Backbone of Chicken (for stock)
- 1 medium sized red onion, chopped
- Chopped, 2 cups of French beans or Runner beans
- 4 medium sized Carrots, diced
- Cooked and Diced, 1 and 1/2 cups of Liver
- Knorr Chicken stock cube (4 cubes)
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Curry powder
- Dried Thyme
- 1 cooking spoonful of Vegetable Oil
- 1 can of Green Peas
- All-spice seasoning
- Salt (to taste)
- Place the liver in a pot (if it’s too big, cut it into smaller chunks to cook faster), season with salt, curry, thyme, and chopped onions. Add a little water, just enough to cover the liver and cook till it’s well done. Take it out of the stock and dice. Discard the stock.
- Boil some water in a kettle. Rinse rice under running water until the water is clear (this means that you have gotten rid of some of the starch). This process is important to prevent the rice from getting sticky and clumping together. Add hot water to rice and cover for a few minutes. This parboiling method reduces the risk of the rice getting too soft before the final cooking stage.
- Place the chicken backbone in a pot. Season with salt, thyme, curry, 2 stock cubes, all-spice, poultry seasoning. Add chopped onions and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes without water. Just let the juices from the chicken come out. Add a little water and leave to cook for about 15 minutes. When the chicken is cooked, pour the stock through a strainer to get rid of the leftover garlic and onions.
- Chop the vegetables. Place vegetable oil in a wide frying pan. season the oil with curry. Add diced liver and stir fry for a minute, add onions, carrot, cabbage, french beans (but set a handful aside for later). Stir fry vegetables for a minute and take the pan off the heat.
- Place chicken broth in a pot. Add about a cup of water, make sure it’s just enough to cover the rice and not more than that. Season broth with 2 knorr stock cubes, curry, thyme, salt, all-spice, poultry seasoning. Bring broth to a simmer. Rinse out the hot water from the rice, Add rice to simmering broth. Cover pot and cook till the broth dries. Add the chopped green beans you set aside earlier and leave to steam in the rice for a few minutes.
- Place rice in a wide tray to let out steam and stop the cooking process. This prevents the rice from becoming too soft.
- In a separate pot, stir fry the vegetables and the rice in batches. That is, place one spoonful of the vegetables in a pot and add two spoonfuls of rice and stir fry for about a minute, then transfer to another pot or into your serving dish.
Serve with Fried Chicken. Enjoy!