Fat Rice from Burkina Faso is an incredibly easy rice dish! To make the fat rice, combine tomatoes, onions, and (if you’re brave enough) habanero peppers in a blender and use this as the basis for your rice. This tastes great with chicken thighs!
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A Spicy Disaster
So the other day I went out for dinner in Detroit at this creative and delicious restaurant called Takoi. The food is incredible with an ever-changing menu and features many Southeast Asian flavors. Curries, coconut milk, eels, papaya salad and more graced my dinner table. Needless to say, I was in my own little version of heaven.
A few of the menu items that we had ordered for the table were really spicy… more spicy than I was comfortable with. But not wanting to be a weenie, I put on my brave pants and I ate that delicious, piquant soup. Ah, spice… a form of masochism, no? Except that in the definition of masochism says that PLEASURE is derived from pain, and in my story, this is false. There is no pleasure in the pain of spice for me. But yet, I forge on, trying to mold myself into a devotee to spice.
Seven hours later and I am awoken from a deep slumber at 2:00 in the morning, clutching my belly. I drag myself out of bed and limp to the bathroom, where I lay in the fetal position on the floor, willing the war to stop waging inside my tummy. It goes without saying that my spicy bravery did not turn out to be my friend.
Spiciness of Fat Rice
All this is to say that I remembered this experience when I was making my Fat Rice from Burkina Faso, and consequently kept the spice out of the meal. But you very well COULD make it spicy if you so choose! In fact, Fat Rice is typically a spicy dish, with habanero peppers as the catalyst. You have liberty at this point to make the dish as spicy or as plain as you’d like by adding habanero peppers into the mix.
Where Did the Name Fat Rice Come From?
For the more health- and figure-conscious, the name “Fat” Rice doesn’t really scream “try this.” Truly though, this rice is made with fresh, delicious ingredients and is definitely NOT fattening. Rumor has it that Fat Rice from Burkina Faso got its name because this recipe is typically made with a lot of oil. For standards of Western Taste (my main audience), I tried to cut down on the amount of oil in this dish.
I must warn you before you start cooking… This recipe makes A LOT of Fat Rice. Like, a Christmas dinner with all of your extended family type portion. You can either cut it in half for a more normal batch size, or you could.. you know… serve it at Christmas dinner with all of your extended family.
Did you like this dish? If you did, make sure to check out my recipe for Machboos from Bahrain or my recipe for Pigeon Peas and Rice from The Bahamas. A delicious rice that won’t give you issues if you don’t handle heat well is my Instant Pot Wild Rice and it’s easier made in the Instant Pot! If you make this dish, don’t forget to take a photo and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork. And leave a comment letting me know what you thought! Don’t forget to stop by next week for a delicious recipe for Hibiscus Tea from Burkina Faso. See you soon!
Rice with Tomatoes and Chicken (“Fat Rice”) from Burkina Faso
- 2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 4 quartered tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ large onion
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 6 Oz can tomato paste
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tbsp ground red pepper
- Sprinkle of parsley
- 2 ½ cups long grain white rice
- Cut the fat off of your chicken thighs, and cut them into one-inch cubes.
- In a blender, blend the tomatoes, half-onion, and garlic until smooth.
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the combination from the blender and heat for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once heated, add the chicken stock, tomato paste, salt, ground red pepper, and parsley and stir. Add chicken pieces in. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the rice and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally, but infrequently. Check to make sure most of the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat, stir the rice, and allow to sit for 10 more minutes to absorb the remaining liquid. Serve and enjoy!
- Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought about the recipe!