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Around the World in Eaty Days - Countries 131-135

Panama - Sancocho de Pollo

Panama's Sancocho de Pollo is characterised by the inclusion of whole corn. In addition to this, the stew contains chicken, yams, carrot, yuca and onion, as well as bay, thyme, culantro, rosemary and oregano. This was a very warming meal to have on a cold winter's night. Though the recipe didn't ask for it, I can see looking at pictures after I've made this that I should have made an effort to pull the chicken into shreds. Whilst I don't believe this would have made much of a difference on flavour, I think that perhaps it would have given the stew a more pleasing texture, and made the broth feel a little less thin.

Sudan - Ful Madames

I've made Ful Madames before, for South Sudan. It's a stew of Fava beans and is quick and easy to make. I must admit that I preferred this version over the last time I made it, and I think this is predominantly due to the puree-ing of the bean mixture, giving it a much more interesting range of textures. The "stew" is heavily flavoured, with onion, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and lemon juice for acid. The stew is topped with parsley, tomato and eggs. I'm not convinced that the eggs necessarily complement the dish - the flavour and texture is not too dissimilar to the stew itself, but its far from unpleasant and a bit of protein never hurt anyone.

Guinea - Poulet Yassa

Braised chicken with caramelised onion and lemons. What's not to like? The chicken is first marinaded overnight in garlic, onion, vinegar, lemon juice, bay, mustard and chillies, and once cooked comes out incredibly flavourful and succulent. The onions from the marinade are cooked down slowly, and brown beautifully thanks to the natural sugars. Definitely a dish to come back to.

Democratic Republic of Congo - Poulet Nyembwe

DRC is this week's country having a go at poulet nyembwe and boy do I think I've done it justice. There's no real change in the recipe or ingredients though - tomato, ginger, chilli, peanut butter and palm oil are all still very much present. Served with rice, greens and fried plantain, it's a very lovely meal, but nothing exciting at this point.

Burkina Faso - Tô

I'm not entirely sure what the national dish of Burkina Faso is. Pretty much every source suggests "Riz Gras", a rice based meal, but according to (which I have to assume is a fairly reputable source), the national dish is Tô. Tô is, in fact, just another name for pap. Surprise! I chose to serve it with sauce arachide, a common meat based sauce containing peanut butter, various veg, notably a lot of tomato, beef and curry powder. The sauce was a bit oily for my liking, as peanut butter is very oil-heavy, but the taste was lovely and I think that it's just that I'm not used to it.


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