Fiery Chalé & the Perfect Nkrakra (Light Chicken Soup) | Genius Recipes

This Genius recipe is actually a two-fer: The fiery, freezable tomato sauce chef Zoe Adjonyoh made to distill the holy trinity of Ghanaian cuisine. And the cozy one-pot chicken soup called Nkrakra you should make with it, anytime your belly, soul, and home need warming. GET THE RECIPES ►►

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PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 3 hours


for the Nkrakra:
2 kilograms (4 pounds 8 ounces) or 8-10 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
3 tablespoons sustainable red palm oil
1 onion, finely diced
20 grams (0.7 ounces) fresh thyme sprigs
4-5 guinea peppers, cracked open
1 teaspoon extra-hot chile powder
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, pierced
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
300 milliliters (10 fluid ounces) Chalé Sauce (see below)
750 milliliters to 1 liter (1 1/4 pints to 1 3/4 pints) good-quality chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
2 inches (5 centimeters) grated fresh ginger
250 grams (9 ounces) white cabbage, sliced (optional)
100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) yam, peeled and diced (optional)
100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) carrots, peeled and diced (optional)
Sprig of cilantro, to garnish (optional)
Slightly toasted sourdough bread or fufu, for serving (optional)

for the Chalé Sauce:
200 grams (7 ounces) canned tomatoes or 300 grams (10 ounces) fresh tomatoes
1 roasted red bell pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small white onion, roughly diced
one 1-inch/2.5-centimeter piece fresh root ginger, grated
1 small red Scotch bonnet chile (use half and de-seed if you have a low heat tolerance or substitute 1/2 teaspoon cayenne for a milder heat)
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 garlic cloves (optional)
Fine sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon extra hot madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon extra hot chili powder

Recipe adapted very slightly from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen: An Introduction to New African Cuisine – From Ghana With Love (Voracious, October 2021).


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