Ghanaian Jollof Rice

Time55 minutes
YieldsServes 8
Kitchen Comforts Ghanaian Jollof Rice
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)
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Baking this one-pot rice dish ensures evenly cooked grains. You can prepare it all on the stovetop too: Instead of transferring the skillet to the oven, adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer while covered and cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Toss the sliced pepper with the vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Let stand. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.


Combine the dried garlic, thyme, cayenne and 1 bay leaf in a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground; reserve.


Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy large, wide skillet with an ovenproof lid over medium-high heat. Generously season the chicken with salt, then add to the hot oil. Cook, turning the pieces occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Don’t crowd the pan; work in batches if you have to.


Add the onion and diced peppers and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes.


Stir in the ginger, spice mixture and 2 teaspoons salt, then stir in the rice. Cook, stirring, until the rice is toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute, then add 3 cups water and the remaining bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to the oven, and bake until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes.


Uncover the rice and season to taste with salt. Drain the pepper slices and scatter over the hot rice and serve.