This is a very spicy chicken stew recipe from Africa that boasts one of the most unlikely combinations of ingredients you will find. In fact, when my friend first made this for me I watched her and thought, That woman can go from entree to dessert faster than any one else I know!
Originally Zuppa la Dizi, we long ago dubbed it, affectionately, Dizzy Soup.
Pictured: A bowl of "Dizzy Soup" with Garlic Knots on the side.
It looks innocent enough but this is one chicken stew that will clear your sinuses quite effectively. If you're not into hot, cut way back on the crushed red pepper or don't drink the broth.
2-3 pounds chicken thighs, cut in half or quartered
3 or 4 small plantains or very green bananas, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
6 stalks celery, trimmed, cut in 1-inch slices
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, cut into eighths
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
Salt to taste
Season the chicken with salt and place it in a large pot with all the remaining ingredients and water to cover.
Simmer until the chicken is cooked and the plantains or bananas are tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary.
Serves 6 to 8 and is best eaten with a spoon and fork.
Plantains take longer to cook than bananas and, no, the banana does not get mushy. Green bananas, in my opinion, have more flavor than plantains; both are an experience to peel.)
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