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from: Western Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering

Kedjenou

This slow-cooked chicken stew is a popular dish in the Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), where the less-than-tender poultry benefits from the long cooking time. It is sometimes prepared by wrapping the ingredients in banana leaf packets and grilling them on hot coals, as is done with Liboké de Poisson or Liboké de Viande. More often the cooking method is to place the ingredients in a tightly sealed jar-shaped clay cooking pot called a canari or canary which is also placed on hot coals. The canari is gently turned or shaken periodically as the Kedjenou cooks, to keep it from sticking. Kedjenou can be adapted to an oven cooking pot, a large pot, like a dutch oven, on the stovetop, a slow cooker like a Crock-Pot®, or even a pressure-cooker. Whatever the cooking method it is important that the cooking vessel be closed with a tight-fitting cover so that moisture and steam do not escape.

ivory coast pottery

What you need

What you do

Northern Africa's tagine, a round terra cotta cooking pot with a cone-shaped top, is rather similar to the Canari. And a Chicken and Vegetable Tagine (like Tagine of Chicken, Preserved Lemon, & Olives) -- the word refers both to the cooking pot as well as a stew cooked in it -- might be rather like Kedjenou; though in North Africa Lamb Tajine is more popular. One difference is the tagine's top has a sort of chimney to allow some steam to escape. The canari is sealed to retain as much moisture as possible.

The canari cooking method is similar to the tanjia or tangia of Morocco, in which the earthenware cooking pot is placed on the coals used to heat a hammam (a public steam bath).


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African Proverb

Li oju awodi ki ako adire re apatta. (Yoruba) : No one would expose fowls on the top of a rock in the sight of a hawk. N.B. -- A warning to the imprudent.
  (from: Wit and Wisdom from West Africa, Richard Francis Burton)

Other African proverbs

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