Palm-Oil Chop is a traditional dish from Western Africa that is prepared for big dinners and family
celebrations. Part of the fun is letting diners add their choice of garnishes and accompaniments.
Like many African recipes, it is very easy to adapt to whatever is on hand.
Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over high heat. Fry the chicken and beef in the palm
oil until browned on the outside. Add ginger (or cinnamon) as the meat is frying. (It might be best
to fry the meat in two or three batches; meat browns best when the pieces are fried without touching
one another.) Set the meat aside after it is browned.
Fry vegetables of your choice in the same pot, reduce heat and simmer for fifteen to twenty
minutes. Stir vigorously to partially mash the vegetables.
Add tomato paste, thyme, spices. Stir. Add enough water to make a smooth sauce while continuing
to stir. Reduce heat. Simmer for an additional five to ten minutes.
Add the chicken and meat and simmer for an additional thirty minutes to an hour or more,
stirring regularly. Make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Some people prefer to remove some of
the red oil as it cooked; if it is not removed it should be stirred into the sauce.
Serve with Rice and garnishes. Diners should get a plate of Chop over rice and should add
garnishes (below) of their choice right on top.
hard-boiled eggs (everyone must have a hard-boiled egg)
sliced boiled yam or sweet potato
breadcrumbs or croutons
sliced fruit: such as banana, mango, orange, papaya, pineapple, etc.