• Jollof rice is an easy at-home dish (John Laurie)Source: John Laurie

Traditionally, "boiler chickens" are used as they have more flavour and don't break down as much when fried, but for convenience, we have used chicken drumsticks. 


Skill level

Average: 3.8 (149 votes)


  • 6 small chicken drumsticks
  • 6 (about 500 g) chicken drummettes
  • 3 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 1 red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 400 g can whole tomatoes
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry
  • 95 g (⅓ cup) tomato paste
  • 400 g (2 cups) basmati rice
  • fried sliced plantains (see Note), to serve 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place chicken and 750 ml water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add half the onions, 1 tsp each of curry powder and thyme, stock cube and 2 tsp salt, and cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is almost cooked through. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Pat chicken dry with paper towel.

Meanwhile, process capsicum, tomatoes and remaining onions in a food processor to a paste. Set aside.

Fill a large saucepan with 5cm oil and place over medium heat. Cook chicken, turning, for 3 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, reserving 1cm oil in pan.

Add capsicum paste and remaining 1 tsp each of curry powder and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until golden. Add tomato paste and cook for a further 5 minutes or until oil starts to separate from paste. Add chicken and cook for a further 3 minutes or until well coated in the mixture. Using tongs, remove chicken from pan, leaving the sauce, transfer to an oven tray and cover with foil.

To make jollof rice, add rice, reserved cooking liquid and 1L water to tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring halfway, for 45 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

When the rice is halfway through cooking, reheat chicken in a warm oven for 20 minutes. Serve with jollof rice and fried plantains.


Plantains are available from Asian and African food shops.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 15, pg69.

Photography by John Laurie