Two years ago, instead of Euro 2012, the telly was full of Africa 2010. The World Cup. Another disappointing football tournament for England and another football tournament that Scotland and Wales had failed to qualify for. One thing makes the World Cup in Africa stand out for me. It isn't Shakira's official song and it certainly isn't the vuvuzela.
I didn't have a blog at the time. In fact at the time, I was ridiculing a good friend for having a food blog. Paul at How Not to do a Food Blog is far from an inspiration*, but he is a top bloke, loves food, writes well, and chucks together a great roast pork belly. Anyway, for reasons that I cannot explain, I decided to eat meals based upon the teams playing in the evening football matches. One evening USA were playing, so we had hotdogs. Another night Chilli were playing so I found a traditional bean stew recipe. Then came the Ivory Coast.
I don't know who they were playing that night. I couldn't tell you if it was a European team and I fancied a challenge. It could well have been that I couldn't find a recipe for the opposition at all. What I can tell you is that what I did find was this recipe for Kedjenou.
Its simplicity belies the full flavour that the dish delivers. The lack of liquid in the ingredients list also makes you wonder what you are going to end up with. The fact that two years on, I'm still cooking this one pot, no effort wonder should tell you all you need to know. After a couple of hours the chicken is perfectly cooked and the vegetables have collapsed and created a fantastic sauce.
Tonight, we have cooked some couscous to have with the chicken and vegetables, but you could easily have some pita bread on the side. This one dish, as well as being delicious, is the reason behind the Olympic Food Challenge. If I had made it through the world cup without finding a stand-out meal I probably wouldn't have thought twice about eating the Olympics. I can't wait to discover my next kedjenou.
*I'm more than capable than making my own stupid bed and lying in it.