Smoky Party Jollof Rice: How to get the Smoky Flavour Without Firewood and Stuffed Roasted Whole Chicken


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This recipe is simply the classic Jollof Rice cooked inside the belly of whole chicken. It’s a different way to serve Jollof Rice this festive season.

Jollof Stuffed Chicken [Video]

The following are other variations of Jollof Rice:

Classic Party Jollof Rice

Coconut Jollof Rice

Mixed Vegetable Jollof Rice

Rice and Beans


For the Jollof Stuffed Chicken in the video below, I used:

  • 3 cups long grain parboiled rice
  • 2 cups Tomato Stew
  • 1 whole chicken (male chicken)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 seasoning cubes
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper (or to taste)
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 3 cubes Chicken oil (optional), see video below.


Notes on the ingredients

  1. The seasonings listed above are my favourites when preparing chicken. Feel free to add your favourite seasonings and herbs.
  2. I always use male chicken which is the soft chicken when making whole chicken recipes because it cooks faster than the hen.
  3. If you do not have chicken oil, use any of the following: vegetable oil, sunflower oil, olive oil.

Before you cook the Jollof Stuffed Chicken

  1. Prepare the tomato stew. Visit the Tomato Stew page for details on how to do that. It is advisable to prepare tomato stew before hand and keep in the freezer. This is so that whenever you want to cook any jollof rice related dish, it is just a matter of adding it to your cooking.
  2. Parboil the rice using the method detailed in parboiling rice for cooking jollof rice. Rinse the parboiled rice with cool water and put in a sieve to drain.
  3. Clean the chicken thoroughly with water.
  4. Grind the seasoning cubes, thyme, black pepper, onion powder and curry powder with a spice grinder to form a powder. Rub this powder all over the chicken and inside the chicken. Cover and keep in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Scrape the carrots. Dice the onion and carrots as shown in the video below.

Cooking Directions

  1. Add the chicken oil to the frying pan. When it heats up, sautee the diced carrots and onions for about 5 minutes.
  2. Put the parboiled rice in a pot. Add the sauteed carrots and onions, tomato stew and the remaining seasoning powder. Pour water to same level as the rice and stir very well.
  3. Scoop some of the rice into the inside of the chicken. When full, tie it up with a food safe twine.
  4. Scoop the remaining rice into a baking dish (casserol dish) and place the stuffed chicken into the well of rice. See video below.
  5. Stick the bay leaves into the rice in strategic positions.
  6. Cover with a foil to prevent the rice from drying out. Leave the chicken exposed. See the video below to see how I did mine.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 dec C (400F) till the chicken is well cooked. I usually bake for 20 minutes then afterwards bake for 1 hour per kilogram of chicken. The chicken I used weighed 2kg (4.4 lbs) so I baked for 20 minutes then baked for 2 hours more. That is a total of 2 hours 20 minutes. If you wants yours very brown and golden, bake for much longer. I prefer mine just cooked and moist like boiled chicken.
  8. When done, add the green peas on top of the rice, stir the top a bit and bake for 5 more minutes. That’s it!




Smoky Party Jollof Rice: How to get the Smoky Flavour Without Firewood

We have been looking for ways to get the smoky flavour in our dear Nigerian Party Jollof Rice without cooking with firewood. Are we magicians??? We may have an answer!

Smoky Party Jollof Rice [Video]

The following are other variations of Jollof Rice:

Beef Mince Jollof Rice

Classic Nigerian Jollof Rice

Leafy Jollof Rice

Coconut Jollof Rice

Mixed Vegetable Jollof Rice

Rice and Beans


  • 2 cups (400g) long grain parboiled rice
  • 1.2kg (2.6lbs) hard chicken (hen)
  • 5 plum tomatoes
  • 3 tatashe peppers
  • 2 onions
  • A medium piece of ginger
  • 1 cup (200g) tomato paste
  • ½ cup vegetable oil for frying the tomatoes
  • 2 Knorr cubes
  • 1 habanero pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (Nigerian curry powder)
  • 5 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke


Notes about the ingredients

  1. One standard measuring cup (level) of long grain parboiled rice equivalent to 1 milk cup or 1 small party cup.
  2. If you do not have tatashe peppers, use 2 sweet peppers (paprika), the the video below for what sweet peppers are.
  3. Remember that tatashe, habanero peppers (atarodo, ose oyibo, atarugu) and black peppers are all spicy hot so be careful about the quantities of these peppers you add.
  4. Knoor cubes are boullion or seasoning cubes. I used chicken flavour because I cooked this Smoky Jollof Rice with chicken.
  5. I use hen when preparing Party Jollof Rice because it is tastier than the soft chicken (rooster).
  6. Nigerian curry powder is not spicy hot, it adds a nice flavour to this Smoky Party Jollof Rice.
  7. Plum tomatoes are the tomatoes sold in Nigerian markets.
  8. For best results in the Smoky Jollof Rice taste use tasteless and odourless vegetable oils: vegetable oils sold in Nigeria, Sunflower oil and Canola oil.
  9. Liquid smoke, natural hickory flavour is the secret ingredient! See below for details of where to buy it from.

Where to buy liquid smoke:

Click here to buy it on Amazon USA.

Click here to buy it on Amazon UK.

I am still searching for where to buy Liquid Smoke in Nigeria. In the meantime, you can use firewood to cook the Party Jollof Rice if you are in Nigeria. LOL

Before you cook Jollof Rice

The best way to see how to prepare the ingredients for this Smoky Jollof Rice is to watch the video below, click here.

  1. Blend the sweet pepper (deseeded), tomatoes (deseeded), habanero pepper, half an onion (chopped) with ginger juice. See the video below.
  2. Prepare the tomato stew. Boil the tomato puree till all the water dries up then fry with the vegetable oil and add a diluted tomato paste later and fry till all the tangy taste of tomatoes is gone. See the video below for details. Or visit the Tomato Stew page for details on how to do that.
  3. If you will use whole chicken then wash and cut it into pieces. Cook with the thyme, Knorr cubes, half of the black pepper, 1 onion (chopped) and the bay leaves. I use a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time of the hard chicken. When done, grill it in an oven. You may also deep-fry it. This is to give it a golden look which is more presentable especially if you have guests for dinner.
  4. Parboil the rice using the method detailed in parboiling rice for cooking jollof rice. Watch the video below to see me do that.

Cooking Directions

The best way to see how to cook this Smoky Jollof Rice is to watch the video below, click here.

  1. Pour the chicken stock and the tomato stew into a sizeable pot and leave to boil.
  2. Add the drained parboiled rice, curry powder, salt, black pepper and liquid smoke. Stir. The water level should be the same level of the rice.
  3. Cover the pot and leave to cook on low to medium heat. This way the rice does not burn before the water dries up.
  4. If you parboiled the rice as shown in the video below, the rice should be done by the time the water is dry. Taste to confirm.
  5. Stir with a spatula and transfer the rice to a cool contain so it will stop cooking.

Serve with Fried Plantain, Nigerian Moi Moi, Nigerian Salad or Coleslaw.




Stuffed Roasted Whole Chicken

Roasted Whole Chicken makes a nice treat any day and on every occasion but the fear of messing it up keeps a lot of people from preparing this yummy recipe.

How to Make Roasted Whole Chicken [Video]

The most important thing you need to do when roasting whole chicken is to make sure that the chicken is thoroughly seasoned. There are many types of seasoning and vegetables you can use for your roasted chicken and there a many ways to go about it but the method detailed on this page is how my Mum does it!


Main ingredient

  • 1 whole chicken

Seasoning for the body of the chicken

  • 1 big stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground cayenne pepper (or ground black pepper)
  • ½ teaspoon ground ehu seeds or Calabash Nutmeg (optional)


  • 1 cigar cup or 180g long grain parboiled rice
  • Vegetables
    • 1 Carrot
    • 1 handful green peas (or green beans)
  • Seasoning
    • 1 medium onion
    • 1 big stock cube
    • 2 teaspoons curry powder (no chilli)
    • 1 teaspoon thyme
    • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Side Dish: Roasted Potatoes

  • 6 medium Irish potatoes
  • Leftover seasoning from that of the chicken
  • 1 teaspoon thyme.
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste


More information about the Roasted Whole Chicken ingredients

The chicken

I use rooster or cockerel which is the male chicken because it is softer and cooks quicker than hen, the female chicken. Even though hen is tastier, it will take much longer to get done if you use it for this recipe.

Seasoning for the body of the chicken

I only add ground ehu seeds to give the chicken a sort of barbecue/peppersoup flavour.

Feel free to use other seasoning you like.


You can experiment with other herbs, seasoning and vegetables. It is not advisable to use soft vegetables because they will be overcooked by the time the chicken is done.

Side dish

You can skip the potatoes and use only rice. Just parboil the quantity of rice that will be enough for the stuffing and side dish. Cover the rice with aluminium foil so that it will not be dry when done.

Before you roast the chicken

  1. Prepare the blend of seasoning for the body of the chicken by mixing the dry ground pepper, stock cube (crushed) and ground ehu seeds.
  2. Scrape and cut the carrots into small cubes and cut the onion into small pieces.
  3. Peel and cut the potatoes into wedges. You can leave the skin on if you want.

Making the Roasted Whole Chicken: Step by Step

1. Prepare the stuffing.

Parboil the rice like you would parboil rice for Nigerian Jollof Rice. Rinse and put in a sieve to drain. If you will be using only rice as your side dish, you will need to parboil enough rice for this purpose.

Put it in a bowl, add the curry powder and mix well.

Add the diced carrots, green peas, diced onions, thyme, salt to taste and some vegetable oil. Stir well and set aside.

2. Stuff the Chicken

Wash the chicken and dry with a towel.

Stuff the inside with the seasoned rice and vegetables. Do not over fill it because remember that this rice is only parboiled and it will rise as it cooks.

When done, tie the legs of the chicken. This helps the chicken maintain a more presentable shape. You don’t want it sagging and all over the place.

Set your oven to 180°C (350°F) to preheat.

Rub some vegetable oil on the chicken, sprinkle the blend of seasoning we prepared earlier and rub it all over the body of the chicken.

Make sure the chicken’s wings are tucked away under the chicken or into the string you used to tie up the chicken.

3. Prepare the side dish

If you want to use only rice as your side dish, then you should have prepared enough in step 1.

If using potatoes, place the wedges in a bowl, add the remaining seasoning from the one you rubbed on the body of the chicken, add thyme, salt to taste and some vegetable oil.

Toss to evenly distribute the seasoning and set aside.

4. Arrange, then roast

Dish the remaining rice from the stuffing into an oven tray leaving some space at the centre for the chicken.

Place the chicken at the centre.

Add the seasoned potatoes around the chicken and place in the preheated oven and bake for one and a half hours.

The chicken is done when it is golden, the rice inside the chicken is well done and a cut into the chicken thigh shows a white flesh with some succulent juice.

If the skin is pinkish or even red, the chicken is not done.

That’s it! It’s not that hard after all, is it? Serve portions of the chicken with the rice and roasted potatoes



How to make Nigerian Rice Salad

Nigerian Rice Salad is the Nigerian version of the Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican etc rice salad. It is just Nigerian salad ingredients with boiled white rice.

How to Make Nigerian Rice Salad [Video]


  • 1 cup boiled white rice
  • 1 bunch lettuce
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small Irish potato (spud)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 2 egg
  • 1 plum tomatoes (Jos tomatoes)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 415g tin Baked Beans in tomato sauce
  • 160g sweet corn
  • Salad Dressing: the classic Heinz Salad Cream works best with the Nigerian Salad recipe. A close substitute is the Heinz Caesar Salad Cream. You can use mayonnaise too.


Notes about the ingredients

  • Use boiled white rice that has cooled down completely. Leftover boiled white rice is perfect for this.
  • Feel free to add your favourite salad ingredients.
  • You can easily make this vegetarian by removing ingredients you can’t eat such as the eggs.

Preparation of the Nigerian Rice Salad

All the vegetables need to be washed.

  1. Boil the eggs till hard done.
  2. Dice the carrots and potato. Add to boiling water. Leave to boil for 2 minutes, pour in a sieve and cool it down with water.
  3. Peel and dice the eggs with an egg slicer. To dice, slice across, then along as shown in the video below.
  4. Chop and dice the rest of the ingredients. The aim is to get all of them chopped into small pieces to match the grains of rice. See the image and video below.
  5. Peel and dice the avocado.
  6. Open the sweet corn and drain the preservation water. Rinse and set aside. Also open the baked beans tin and set aside.
  7. Then layer the ingredients one after the other in a bowl just like when making Nigerian salad. See the video below.
  8. Place in the fridge to chill before serving.

Nigerian Rice Salad can be eaten alone or as a side dish to all Nigerian rice dishes.

More food combinations: with Chickpea Moi Moi, Nigerian Moi Moi or with Grilled Chicken.


Nigerian Peppered Gizzards

When I was very young, I was made to believe that women and children would get sick if they ate gizzards. This is because this part of the chicken, refered to as nze-nze in Igbo is so revered where I come from that only the heads of families (the men) are supposed to eat it.

How to Make Nigerian Peppered Gizzards

Infact one has to be extremely careful when cutting off this special part from the chicken’s insides. You don’t want to mistakenly cut off any part of the gizzard thereby ruining the nze-nze.

Fast forward to my late adolescent years and I found that this part of the chicken can be enjoyed by all and sundry without any consequences. I sincerely hope that the elders from my village are not reading this! 🙂

Now Peppered Gizzards are part of the popular Nigerian Small Chops family so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this at most Nigerian parties. But you don’t have to wait for the next owambe to enjoy this snack.

It is so simple to make and gizzards are unbelieveably cheap that when I think about all the chickens a small quantity of gizzards came from, I feel they should cost more.

Ingredients for Nigerian Peppered Gizzards

  • 500g (1.1 lbs) chicken gizzards
  • 3 habanero peppers (or to your taste)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 big stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Tool you’ll need: toothpicks for serving.


Notes on the ingredients

  1. 500g gave me about 20 gizzards. The gizzards I see where I live are quite small compared to the gizzards in Nigerian chickens lol.
  2. Be careful with the quantity of seasoning you add to gizzards. They can easily get overseasoned and taste salty because the meat does not absorb much of the ingredients.


Before you make Your Peppered Gizzards

  1. Ensure that the inside skins of the gizzards are peeled off, then wash and place them in a pot.
  2. Cut the onions into big chunks.
  3. Pound or blitz the peppers (no water).
  4. Marinate the gizzards with the seasonings if you want. I do not marinate gizzards because it does not make any difference. Gizzards have a rubbery texture so the marinade does not really penetrate the meat. For me, it is just like trying to marinate shaki or kidney.

Making the Peppered Gizzards

  1. Add the stock cube, the thyme and big chunks of onions into the gizzards. If you marinated them, just add the onions.
  2. Pour water to just under the level of the gizzards and start cooking at medium heat. This quantity of water will dry up by the time the gizzards are well done.
  3. When the gizzards are well done, remove the big chunks of onions.
  4. Increase the heat to high and stir constantly till all the remaining liquid in the pot is absorbed. You don’t want to lose any flavour by pouring away the gizzard stock.
  5. Add salt to taste and stir very well.
  6. Lay the gizzards flat in a baking bowl.
  7. Grill in an oven at 170°C or 338°F till the top side is dry and brown. Turn them and grill the underside too till dry and brown. If you don’t have an oven, just deep-fry them.
  8. Heat the vegetable oil in another pot.
  9. Add the pepper and the grilled/deep-fried gizzards.
  10. Stir very well till the pepper is evenly distributed on the gizzards. The vegetable oil ensures that this happens and gives the grilled gizzards a nice glow.
  11. That’s it! Insert toothpicks and serve.

If you are entertaining guests or having dinner with the family, serve it as a side dish to Fried Plantains, Rice & Beans or Jollof Rice.

If you are hosting a party, place them in a flat tray and put out with other small chops and snacks for your guests to enjoy. They will surely be oohing and aahing either from the yummy taste or from all that pepper LOL.


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