Sunday, January 24, 2010
Gabon - Mustard Chicken and Baked Bananas
I mentioned Gabon to a friend of mine. She said she knew someone who used to work there and he didn’t have a very high opinion of it. “And he got a tropical skin disease,” she said.
I tend to romanticize the places I write about, or the places I’ve never been to. After reading about Gabon I didn’t think it sounded all that bad. Gabon is sparsely populated, compared to its neighbors, and the country is covered in tropical forests. It’s made up of over forty ethnic groups and has the largest population of forests elephants in the world. Gabon is abundant with natural resources and foreign private investments. The jungle is full of wildlife and the government is wise enough to have opened up national parks, closing them to loggers. To me, it sounds like Gabon may have a promising future.
Gabonese cuisine is typically spicy and fish is very common - and giant crocodile is also a favorite, apparently. Their national dish is Poulet Nyemwe, chicken cooked in a sauce made from palm butter or palm soup base. For our Gabonese meal we had mustard chicken and baked bananas. Both dishes were very tasty, especially the baked bananas. We were all surprised at how much we enjoyed this dessert.
8 pieces of chicken (legs, thighs, breasts)
200 ml Dijon mustard (or one jar)
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 2 lemons
Brown chicken in oil then transfer to a plate. Fry onions and garlic in the same oil until onions are translucent. Transfer onions to a large lidded pot, add the chicken, mustard and lemon juice. Mix together and then cover the pot with aluminum foil then the lid to trap all the steam. Cook on low heat for about an hour until chicken it cooked through. Serve on a bed of rice.
4 bananas cut into 3 equal diagonal pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 TBSP orange juice
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Beat the egg with the orange juice and dip the bananas in this before rolling in the bread crumbs. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry bananas until they begin to brown.
Transfer to a baking dish and place in 300 degree oven for 5 minutes.
Serve 1 banana per person, topped with sour cream and sprinkled with brown sugar.