Christmas Lunch - Jollof Rice, Turkey & Brussels Sprouts

Jollof Rice is undoubtedly the most eaten dish in West Africa! Its such a simple dish and could be so flavourful and moreish depending of course on how you make it and what special care and ingredients you add to it.

Funke Koleosho's Nigerian Style Christmas Lunch

At every occasion, Jollof rice is served and it is a favourite for many. In fact people would look forward to eating "party jollof rice" because it has that unique taste that you don't get at home when you make it.
Any how, this Christmas, I am bound to serve some of this tasty dish, because my family love it. Living in the UK we have embraced some of Christmas traditions like serving roast turkey with potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Last year, I made roasted turkey using traditional Nigerian suya spice. It was different and memorable.

This year, I am putting yet another spin on my Christmas lunch. Rather roasting the turkey, I will grill and cover with some really flavourful sauce with mixed peppers, and also spice up the traditional Christmas veggies; Brussels sprouts.

Fellow foodies, I invite you to try this recipe for Christmas... Jollof Rice served with Grilled & Peppered Turkey and Spicy Brussels Sprouts!

I am assuming you already know how to cook jollof rice?.....if not please first read one of my previous posts on the ultimate guide to cooking Jollof rice here. If you already know how to make your Jollof rice, fret not! Use the ingredients lists below as a guide only because I have left out quantities to give you some freedom to make suitable adjustments.

Nigerian Style Christmas Lunch

What you need
  • Fresh whole turkey (don't use frozen turkey pls....common... its Christmas!)
  • Easy cook rice (easy cook golden basmati rice is also suitable)
  • Onions
  • Mixed sweet peppers (green, yellow, red, orange)
  • Brussels sprouts (or any other vegetables you can get.)
  • Bouillon cubes (to season the turkey)
  • Fresh thyme (or dried thyme if you cant get fresh. Partminger leaves are also a good substitute)
  • Curry powder
  • Salt
  • Fresh plum tomatoes or canned plum tomatoes
  • Scotch bonnet (yellow), remove stalk & seeds (optional)
  • Tomato paste
  • Freshly milled or ground nutmeg
  • Ground pimentos
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Butter (not margarine! please)
  • Crayfish flavour seasoning cube or the proper ground crayfish (for that added traditional taste) Optional 
  • Smoked paprika to create the traditional smoky flavour (optional)
  • Cooking oil (for its health benefits, I now tend to use coconut oil in all my cooking)

What to do

To cook the turkey:
  1. Chop the turkey into small bite size pieces. Lovingly remove all the bones, so your friends and family can derive maximum enjoyment from this dish! You don't have to use the entire turkey for this recipe. the best parts to use are the thigh, wings and back of the bird. You can also use the breast but keep the skin on! 
  2. Wash turkey pieces in cold fresh water and transfer into a large bowl or pot. 
  3. Season turkey pieces with your spices (fresh thyme, curry, bouillon cube, nutmeg pimentos, crushed garlic, crushed ginger, salt, add any other of your preferred spices). 
  4. Work all spices into the meat and marinate for at least 24 hours. 
  5. Transfer the turkey piece into a large stock pot and add just enough water to cover 2/3 of the meat. Not a lot. 
  6. Cover the pot tight and allow meat to cook for about 15 minutes under high heat. 
  7. With  a large wooden spoon, stir the meat pieces and check for firmness. At this stage you do not want to overcook the turkey. Turn the heat down and cook for another 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your meat pieces. 
  8. Then turn off the heat, slightly open the cover of the pot and set meat aside. Allow the meat to sit in its juices for as long as you can allow. The longer the better as it allows the meat to soak up flavours. 
  9. Then drain off the stock (for later use) and set the meat on a baking tray. Grill meat in a hot oven for about 15 minutes or until its start to turn golden brown. Don't worry about the meat drying out. It will become juicy again in the last step.
  10. Simultaneously, add some oil into a large sauce pan, and fry diced onions, diced sweet peppers, diced scotch bonnet, chopped garlic and ginger. Also add some very ripe chopped tomatoes. Add some tomato paste and some previously cooked Nigerian style spicy pepper sauce to give the meat depth of flavours. (Cheat ingredient: you can use Molli's Jollof cooking sauce as an alternative). Add some stock, stir. 
  11. Then add the grilled meat. Return to the heat and allow to simmer. Stir all ingredients together for even distribution. 
To make the Jollof rice please see one of my previous posts on the ultimate guide to cooking Jollof rice here

To make the Brussels sprouts:
  1. Cut the sprouts off the stalk and wash in clean water. 
  2. Boil some water, add some salt and add the sprouts. 
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes then plunge them into cold water. This will end the cooking process quickly and help the sprouts retain their lovely green colour. 
  4. In a separate pot, sauté more peppers and onion just as in step 10 above. 
  5. Add the sprouts and stir well for even distribution. 
  6. Serve hot with the rice and turkey.

Nigerian Style Christmas Lunch

Have a Merry Christmas!!

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