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Recipe: How to Make Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Kedjenou Chicken is one of the main savory dishes in Côte d’Ivoire that you can prepare with a few vegetables, chicken or beef, and spices in a canari or tight pot. You can prepare it quickly while attending to other dishes without worrying about burning. 

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It’s ideal for dinner or lunch and can be prepared anywhere. 

Let’s get started with this chicken stew from Ivory Coast.

How to Prepare Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken

Recipe: How to Make Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide
A saucepan on fire and ingredients at the side. Image source: African Cooking with Estelle  licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

“Kedjenou” comes from a small ethnic group in Baoulé. The word Kedjenou—pronounced KED-gen-ooh–means “to move or shake”. Thus, Kedjenou is meat cooked and braised in a sealed pot, traditionally a clay terracotta pot called a “canari”. 

The clay pot remains closed throughout cooking, so all flavors remain intact, a spicy stew. This meal was cooked using a wood fire. However, if you’re using Western kitchens, use a deep casserole.

You don’t have to worry about it burning because the meat, chicken, and vegetables produce enough steam and juice to make the chicken tender. You’ll have to shake the canari or pot from time to time to prevent food from sticking. There is a lot of similarity between this cooking technique and the North African tajine style.

You can cook Kedjenou with a variety of meats like chicken, pork, beef, and even seafood.

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Ingredients and Preparation Methods

  • 2 kilos of Chicken – You can use a whole chicken cut into pieces with skin and bone on. You can make it with any cut. 
  • 2 Onions
  • Spring or green onions
  • 5 large Tomatoes
  • 3 Bell peppers
  • 2 large Carrots
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 3 Habanero hot peppers
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tsp of chopped Ginger
  • 6 Thyme Springs
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika 
  • Bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Chicken bouillon cube
  • Olive oil (optional)

Kedjenou Recipe, Instructions and Nutrition Information

  1. Chop the vegetables, except the eggplant. Chopped eggplant oxidizes when exposed to air. You’ll chop it when you’re ready to add it to the pot. 
  2. Put your chicken in a big bowl. Don’t remove the bones or skin. If you do, you might miss out on the full flavor.
  1. Add your chopped ginger, garlic, salt, smoked paprika, thyme, bay leaf, and whole hot peppers, like the scotch bonnet, to the chicken. 
  2. Add chopped vegetables. Mix and leave the mixture to marinate for 2 hours.
  3. When the mixture is ready to cook, chop the eggplants.
  4. Remove chicken, hot peppers, and bay leaves and set them aside. Add the chopped eggplant and mix it into the vegetable mixture.
  5. Layer part of the veggies and the eggplants at the bottom of the pot. If you’re using okra, add it 10 mins before the end of cooking time.
  6. Layer the chicken on top of the vegetables. You can remove the skin and apply peanut oil.
Recipe: How to Make Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide
Layer the chicken on top of the vegetables. Image source: African Cooking with Estelle  licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
  1. Add bay leaves, some extra thyme sprigs, salt, and whole habanero hot peppers. You can prick the hot peppers if you’re looking to cook something spicy or “hot-pepperish”. 
  2. Crumble bouillon cube on top. Then layer the rest of the vegetables on top of the chicken.
  3. Close the lid and cook it undisturbed for 45 minutes on high heat. Leaving the sauce to cook undisturbed infuses the chicken with the flavor of the spices and vegetables. 
Recipe: How to Make Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide
Cooking Kedjenou Chicken with the lid closed. Image source: African Cooking with Estelle licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
  1. You can choose to use the oven in this process too.
  1. Lower the heat after 15 minutes and shake the cooking pot without removing the lid. Allow the sauce to braise in its juices. The vegetables and chicken will create a lot of liquid, which helps the chicken to stay moist and tender. 
  2. Shake again after the next 15 minutes. 
  3. Check the chicken after 45 minutes to make sure it’s probably cooked. Taste for salt.  
  4. Cook for another 15 minutes and voila! Your favorite stew, Kedjenou Chicken is ready.

People Also Read: Recipe: Togolese Gboma Dessi: A Classic Togolese Dish

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What Can You Eat Kedjenou Chicken With?

Recipe: How to Make Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken: A Step-by-Step Guide
Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken served with rice. Image source: African Cooking with Estelle licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ivorians love their stew with a side of attiéké. This is comparable to gari, a dish made from fermented and grated cassava or yucca root. It is one staple that works with anything in Côte d’Ivoire and West Africa. You can also eat Kedjenou chicken with hot rice or boiled yams.

Cooking Tips for Preparing Kedjenou Chicken

Use bone-in, skin-on chicken

In addition to adding more flavor to your stew, this will make the end result chicken tender and juicy throughout the cooking process. For instance, use wings, bone-in thighs, and drumsticks.

Cut vegetables in large sizes

Cut the vegetables into large pieces to avoid mush, as Kedjenou chicken cooks slowly, and the vegetables break down as they simmer.

People Also Read: Recipe: How to Make Kashata Za Njugu | Tanzanian Peanut Brittle

Limit Adding Water or Other Liquid

Since vegetables and chicken release their own juices as they cook, you don’t have to add any liquid. But you can add a splash of water or chicken stock if the stew seems too dry.

To ensure that everything was okay, people used banana leaves for a sealed clay pot and this made the meal a magnificent chicken dish.

Estelle is a qualified hair stylist and esthetician with a love of food and cooking. She started her YouTube channel by uploading hair and food videos weekly but has now stopped doing hair videos to focus on food cooking videos and family vlogs occasionally. She shares weekly vlogs of different recipes you’ll love.

Video source: African Cooking with Estelle

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Cote d'Ivoire Kedjenou Chicken

Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken

Côte d’Ivoire
Recipe: How to Make Côte d’Ivoire’s Kedjenou Chicken: A Step-by-Step GuideSedi Djentuh
Kedjenou Chicken is one of the main savory dishes in Côte d’Ivoire that you can prepare with a few vegetables, chicken or beef, and spices in a canari or tight pot. You can prepare it quickly while attending to other dishes without worrying about burning.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine African
Servings 5
Calories 483 kcal

Equipment

Canari
saucepan
Dutch Oven

Ingredients
  

  • 2 kilos of Chicken
  • 2 Onions
  • 7 Green or spring onions
  • 5 large Tomatoes
  • 3 Bell peppers
  • 2 large Carrots
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 3 Habanero hot peppers
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tsp of chopped Ginger
  • 6 Thyme Springs
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 tsp Olive oil optional

Instructions
 

  • Chop the vegetables, except the eggplant. Chopped eggplant oxidizes when exposed to air. You’ll chop it when you’re ready to add it to the pot.
  • Put your chicken in a big bowl. Don’t remove the bones or skin. If you do, you might miss out on the full flavor.
  • Add your chopped ginger, garlic, salt, smoked paprika, thyme, bay leaf, and whole hot peppers to the chicken.
  • Add chopped vegetables. Mix and leave the mixture to marinate for 2 hours.
  • When the mixture is ready to cook, chop the eggplants.
  • Remove chicken, hot peppers, and bay leaves and set them aside. Add the chopped eggplant and mix it into the vegetable mixture.
  • Layer part of the veggies and the eggplants in a canari or cooking pot.
  • Layer the chicken on top of the vegetables.
  • Add bay leaves, some extra thyme sprigs, salt, and whole habanero hot peppers. You can prick the hot peppers if you’re looking to cook something spicy or “hot-pepperish”.
  • Crumble bouillon cube on top. Then layer the rest of the vegetables on top of the chicken.
  • Close the lid and cook it undisturbed for 45 minutes on high heat. Leaving the sauce to cook undisturbed infuses the chicken with the flavor of the spices and vegetables.
  • You can choose to use the oven in this process too.
  • Lower the heat after 15 minutes and shake the cooking pot without removing the lid. Allow the sauce to braise in its juices. The vegetables and chicken will create a lot of liquid, which helps the chicken to stay moist and tender.
  • Shake again after the next 15 minutes.
  • Check the chicken after 45 minutes to make sure it’s probably cooked. Taste for salt.
  • Cook for another 15 minutes and voila! Your Kedjenou Chicken is ready.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 483kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 43gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 208mgSodium: 493mgFiber: 7gSugar: 13g
Keyword Chicken, Kedjenou Chicken
Senegalese Chicken Yassa
Senegalese Chicken Yassa, or better still Poulet Yassa, is a peculiar Senegalese dish traditionally prepared with tender chicken, lots of caramelized onions, dijon mustard, lemony sauce, hot peppers, olive oil, and other spices. It has a tangy, smoky taste that’s irresistible!
Check out this recipe
Senegalese Chicken Yassa. Image source: Je Suis un Petit Cuisinier licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.

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