A combination of slow-cooked berbere-spiced chicken in a flavoursome mustard and garlic sauce with baby potatoes makes the perfect family dinner
I have eaten my fair share of potatoes…to date.
As a child, we didn’t eat potatoes that frequently. But every year, at the onset of the harmattan season in Nigeria, the food trucks from the farms in the Northern part of Nigeria would transport tonnes of fresh farm produce to the south. And Mum would take delivery of a few 50kg bags of potatoes that had successfully completed the 14-hour journey.
For a few weeks of every year, our pantry and stomachs would be bursting at the seams with potatoes. And we would bake them, boil them, fry them,… rinse, repeat. A ritual was born, and the humble potato had a starring role. Over time, as a metamorphosis unfolded, the definitions of comfort food and potato began to blur. And then it became one.
Then, the a-ha moment. The moment I realised that the potato had come to epitomise comfort food.
Comfort food.. Simple. Uncomplicated. Nothing fancy. Nothing forced. With roots at home and family.
Comfort food? Yes.
This dish? Hell Yes.
This is a combination of slow-cooked berbere-spiced chicken in a flavourful mustard and garlic sauce with baby potatoes and seasonal vegetables. I call it my one-pot wonder. Because, all I have to do is literally toss everything together, and turn on the oven. Then pour myself a glass of wine, or two. Put my feet up and let the miracle, which is this dish, unfold.
In reality, that scenery goes something like this…every time..
Toss everything together, and turn on the oven.
Yell instructions to screaming and kicking kids about clearing up toys and play area.
Trip over a piece of a toy train set lying on the floor.
Swear under breath while retrieving offending item
Yell instructions again to screaming and kicking kids… You get the picture?
Still, 45 minutes later, when that oven timer goes off, and I am tucking into the first mouthfuls of this dish, the present-state chaos fades into the background as I take a freakin delicious trip down memory lane.
Indeed, comfort food does trump all..
My tastebuds are tingling in agreement, and delight.
In a large glass bowl, combine 2 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsp of lemon juice squeezed from the lemons with the berbere spice, crushed garlic, ground coriander seeds, thyme, some salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
Pour this mixture all over the chicken. Coat all over, then cover and set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Preparing the Chicken and Potatoes
Wash and dry the new potatoes. Heat a dutch oven over medium to high heat, then add 1 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, fry the chicken to sear and brown the meat for 2 - 3 minutes per side, turning over once. When done, remove from heat and set aside.
Add the new potatoes and chopped rosemary to the dutch oven, once the chicken has been removed. Add half a tablespoon of oil if needed, and fry, stirring frequently, for 3 - 5 minutes to brown and coat the potatoes. When done, remove and set aside.
Reduce the heat setting to low-medium and then add the remaining half a tablespoon of olive oil to the dutch oven, and when hot, fry the onions and garlic until soft and translucent, and the garlic is aromatic, stirring frequently. This should take about 3 - 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, juice of one lemon, and mustard. Taste and season as appropriate. Then add the browned chicken, potatoes, green beans and red peppers. Stir one, then cover, and transfer to the oven.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade (fan-assisted), 200 degrees (without fan). Cook in oven for 40 - 45 minutes.
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One-Pot Berbere Chicken and Potato
Amount Per Serving
Calories 448Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Total Carbohydrates 43g14%
Dietary Fiber 8g32%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.