Jollof Rice with Balsamic Chicken

Somi Igbene PhD ANutrMarch 15, 2022

Ask any Nigerian and they’ll confirm that Sundays would be incomplete without jollof rice and chicken.  So, I feel your distress if you’re Nigerian and have been told you need to give it up because you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.  

I’m here to confirm that jollof rice can absolutely stay on your menu regardless of your diagnosis. The catch, though, is that you must pay careful attention to how you cook it, your portion sizes and the foods you pair it with. 

Keep reading for my super simple jollof rice recipe, served with balsamic chicken and steamed greens for balanced blood sugars. 

What is Jollof Rice?

Jollof rice – rice in spiced tomato sauce – is a West African staple.  Each country in the region has a different way of preparing it, and even within Nigeria, each tribe makes it slightly differently.  So, I’m pretty sure many recipes are floating around. 

I also have a few recipes I alternate between depending on how much time I have to cook.  That said, my various jollof rice recipes are just as delicious as each other, so I promise you’re not missing much with this simplified version.

When eating jollof rice with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, besides eating a moderate portion, you must pair it with proteins, vegetables, and fats to avoid blood sugar spikes. Find out the correct portion for you with the personalised portions planner. Proteins, vegetables, and fats slow down digestion, lowering the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream.  And the slower glucose enters your bloodstream, the more balanced your blood sugars are. 

I recommend choosing basmati rice because it raises blood sugar at a slower rate than other varieties, including jasmine rice, long grain rice, sticky rice, and short-grain rice.  If you pair jollof rice with proteins, vegetables, and fat, it doesn’t matter if you eat white or brown rice.  So, if you prefer white rice, go with that. 

Before I get into the recipe, let’s explore the 

Nutritional Highlights of Jollof Rice with Balsamic Chicken and Steamed Greens  

This meal is considered a low glycaemic index (GI) meal since it has an estimated GI of 43 (Nutritics).  Its low GI means that it won’t spike blood sugars and will provide slow energy release keeping your blood sugars balanced.  Besides its low GI, jollof rice with balsamic chicken and steamed greens is a rich source of many essential nutrients including:

Potassium, which is crucial for salt balance and healthy blood pressure.  This meal is an excellent source of potassium, providing 1335 mg per serving or 67% of the daily reference intake (RI).

Vitamin C, which is important to produce collagen.  It is also important for wound repair, healthy gums, immunity, and the production of substances that transmit messages between nerve cells.  Vitamin is an important antioxidant too.  This meal is an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 59 mg per serving or 74% of the daily RI. 

Zinc, which is a part of more than 200 proteins in our bodies.  It plays a crucial role in immunity, cell growth, skin health and sexual function.  Zinc is also important for the maintenance of vision, taste and smell.  This meal is a good source of zinc providing 2.7 mg per serving or 27% of the daily RI

Vitamin A, which is necessary for maintaining the health and structure of the skin.  It is particularly useful for many skin disorders, including acne and psoriasis.  Vitamin A also plays a role in sexual health, immunity, vision, and adrenal and thyroid function.  This meal is a good source of vitamin A, providing 175 mcg per serving or 22% of the daily RI. 

 How to Cook Jollof Rice with Balsamic Chicken

Ingredients

  • 200g tenderstem broccoli, steamed
  • 200g green beans, steamed
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

For the jollof rice

  • 200g basmati rice
  • 2 ½ tablespoons tomato puree 
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the chicken

  • 4 medium chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard 
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large spring onions (scallions), chopped

Directions

Rinse the rice under cold water until the liquid turns clear.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, then fry shallots until softened.  Add bay leaf, garlic, tomato puree, chilli and paprika.  Fry for 2-3 minutes without burning, then add the stock cube and rinsed rice.  Season with salt and pepper if needed. 

Stir well to combine, then flatten the surface of the rice.  Add warm water to the pan to cover the rice by about one inch.  Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Place tin foil over the pan and put the lid on.  Cook on a simmer for around 20 minutes or until the liquid fully absorbs.  If the rice is not tender enough, keep adding small amounts of water until the rice is cooked, then set aside. 

While the rice is cooking, combine mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a medium boil.  Heat oil in a large saucepan, then fry spring onion for around 30 seconds.  Add chicken breast and fry for 3 minutes.  Stir in the mustard sauce and keep frying on medium heat, turning frequently, until the chicken is browned.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  You may find it easier to fry the chicken in batches to prevent stewing.  If frying in batches, allow one teaspoon of olive oil per person.  Set aside and keep warm.

Divide the jollof rice, balsamic chicken, steamed green vegetables and cherry tomatoes (if using) between four bowls.  Sprinkle chilli flakes for extra heat if desired; enjoy!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Jollof Rice with Balsamic Chicken

  • Author: Somi Igbene PhD ANutr
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Fusion
  • Diet: Diabetic

Description

Tasty, low glycemic jollof rice with balsamic chicken and steamed greens


Ingredients

Scale
  • 200g tenderstem broccoli, steamed
  • 200g green beans, steamed
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

For the jollof rice

  • 200g basmati rice
  • 2 ½ tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the chicken

  • 4 medium chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large spring onions (scallions), chopped

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the liquid turns clear.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, then fry shallots until softened.  Add bay leaf, garlic, tomato puree, chilli and paprika.  Fry for 2-3 minutes without burning, then add the stock cube and rinsed rice.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Stir well to combine, then flatten the surface of the rice.  Add warm water to the pan to cover the rice by about one inch.  Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer.  Place tin foil over the pan and put the lid on.  Cook on a simmer for around 20 minutes or until the liquid fully absorbs.  If the rice is not tender enough, keep adding small amounts of water until the rice is cooked, then set aside.
  4. While the rice is cooking, combine mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a medium boil.  Heat oil in a large saucepan, then fry spring onion for around 30 seconds.  Add chicken breast and fry for 3 minutes.  Stir in the mustard sauce and keep frying on medium heat, turning frequently, until the chicken is browned.  Season with salt and pepper if needed.  You may find it easier to fry the chicken in batches to prevent stewing.  If frying in batches, allow one teaspoon of olive oil per person.  Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Divide the jollof rice, balsamic chicken, steamed green vegetables and cherry tomatoes (if using) between four bowls.  Sprinkle chilli flakes for extra heat if desired; enjoy!

 


Notes

Swap chicken stock with vegetable stock and use tofu, tempeh, quorn, seitan or any other plant-based alternative to make the recipe vegan


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Per serving
  • Calories: 534
  • Sugar: 9.6g
  • Sodium: 336mg
  • Fat: 15.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 13.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0.04g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Fiber: 6.9g
  • Protein: 49g
  • Cholesterol: 113mg

Keywords: Jollof rice, balsamic chicken, low glycemic, low GI

References

Nutritics. (2022). Research Edition (v5.64) [Computer software]. Dublin. Retrieved from: https://www.nutritions.com/p/home

Was this post helpful?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Prev Post

Can You Eat Cassava Products with Prediabetes? 

Next Post

Diabetes UK, NIHR Fund Research to Boost Type 2 Diabetes Remission Rates

%d bloggers like this: