Chicken and Beef Benachin Recipe from Gambia with Rice and Vegetables

Chicken and Beef Benachin

Chicken and Beef Benachin Recipe from Gambia with Rice and Vegetables
Region / culture: Gambia | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6


Chicken and Beef Benachin
Chicken and Beef Benachin

Chicken and Beef Benachin is a delicious and hearty West African dish that combines tender chicken and beef with a flavorful tomato-based sauce and vegetables. This dish is perfect for a family meal or special occasion, as it is sure to impress with its rich flavors and satisfying ingredients.


Benachin, also known as Jollof Rice, is a popular dish in many West African countries, including Gambia, Senegal, and Nigeria. It is a one-pot meal that is traditionally made with rice, tomatoes, onions, and a variety of meats or seafood. The name "Benachin" means "one pot" in the Wolof language, reflecting the simplicity and convenience of this dish.


How to prepare

  1. Prepare, wash, and cut the chicken into portions.
  2. Remove gristle, etc. from the beef, wash, and cut into equal portions.
  3. Mix the chicken and beef together.
  4. Season with salt, black pepper, pounded garlic, and vinegar.
  5. Allow to stand for 0.5 hour before cooking.
  6. Prepare the vegetables accordingly.
  7. Peel, wash, and thinly slice the onions.
  8. Fry the chicken in hot oil until brown, then turn over and fry likewise.
  9. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  10. Add the beef and fry until quite brown.
  11. Add the sliced onions and fry until golden brown.
  12. Place the washed, scalded, skinned, and sliced tomatoes with the rest of the ingredients in the pan.
  13. Put the tomato purée and pounded fresh peppers into a saucepan.
  14. Cook gently for 15 minutes.
  15. Pour in the measured water.
  16. Bring to a boil, then add all the prepared vegetables, fried chicken, bay leaves, and salt.
  17. Remove the chicken and vegetables when cooked and keep them in a warm place.
  18. Taste for seasoning.
  19. Add the washed rice to the cooking pot.
  20. Put the big sliced peppers and bring to a boil.
  21. Reduce the heat and cook under low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  22. Serve by piling the rice on an oval dish, then placing the vegetables and chicken on top.


  • Substitute the beef with lamb or goat meat for a different flavor.
  • Add shrimp or fish to the dish for a seafood twist.
  • Include additional vegetables such as okra or green beans for added texture and color.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Marinating the chicken and beef in vinegar and seasonings before cooking helps to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.

- Frying the chicken and beef until brown adds depth and richness to the dish.

- Cooking the rice in the flavorful tomato sauce allows it to absorb all the delicious flavors of the dish.

- Be sure to taste the dish for seasoning before serving, as the flavors may need to be adjusted to suit your preferences.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken and Beef Benachin can be served on its own as a complete meal, or paired with a side salad or steamed vegetables for added nutrition. It is also delicious with a side of plantains or fried yams.

Cooking Techniques

Marinate the chicken and beef for at least 30 minutes before cooking to enhance the flavor.

- Fry the meat until browned to develop a rich flavor base for the dish.

- Cook the rice in the tomato sauce to infuse it with all the delicious flavors of the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use chicken thighs or drumsticks instead of a whole chicken for convenience.

- Substitute vegetable oil for palm oil if desired.

- Use canned tomatoes in place of fresh tomatoes if they are not in season.

Make Ahead Tips

Chicken and Beef Benachin can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving. Simply reheat the dish on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Chicken and Beef Benachin on a large platter, garnished with fresh herbs and sliced tomatoes for a colorful and appetizing presentation. You can also serve the dish in individual bowls for a more elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Chicken and Beef Benachin pairs well with a variety of beverages, including fruit juices, iced tea, or a cold beer. For a complete meal, serve the dish with a side of fresh fruit or a light dessert.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Chicken and Beef Benachin can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply place the dish in a microwave-safe container and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Chicken and Beef Benachin contains approximately 400 calories. This dish is a satisfying and filling meal that provides a good balance of nutrients and energy.


Each serving of Chicken and Beef Benachin contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide energy for the body and are an important part of a balanced diet.


Each serving of Chicken and Beef Benachin contains approximately 20 grams of fat. Fat is essential for the body to function properly and provides a source of energy.


Each serving of Chicken and Beef Benachin contains approximately 25 grams of protein. Protein is important for building and repairing tissues in the body and is essential for overall health.

Vitamins and minerals

Chicken and Beef Benachin is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and potassium. These nutrients are important for maintaining a healthy immune system, vision, and overall well-being.


Chicken and Beef Benachin contains meat, onions, and garlic, which may be allergens for some individuals. Be sure to check for any food allergies before preparing this dish.


Chicken and Beef Benachin is a nutritious and flavorful dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a satisfying meal that is sure to please the whole family.


Chicken and Beef Benachin is a flavorful and satisfying dish that is perfect for a family meal or special occasion. With its tender chicken and beef, rich tomato sauce, and colorful vegetables, this dish is sure to impress with its delicious flavors and hearty ingredients. Enjoy this West African classic with your loved ones for a memorable dining experience.

How did I get this recipe?

I recall the feeling of curiosity that washed over me when I found this recipe for Chicken and Beef Benachin. It was a hot summer day, and I was rummaging through my grandmother's old recipe box, looking for something new to try. As I flipped through the yellowed index cards, my eyes landed on a faded piece of paper tucked away in the back of the box.

The handwriting was elegant and old-fashioned, and the title at the top read "Chicken and Beef Benachin." Intrigued, I read through the list of ingredients and instructions, feeling a thrill of excitement at the thought of trying something new and exotic.

I had never heard of Benachin before, but the combination of chicken and beef, cooked in a spicy tomato sauce with vegetables and rice, sounded delicious. I could almost taste the rich flavors and fragrant spices as I imagined myself preparing the dish in my own kitchen.

I knew that I had to learn how to make this recipe, so I set out on a quest to uncover its origins and master the art of cooking Chicken and Beef Benachin. I turned to my grandmother, a culinary wizard who had spent a lifetime collecting recipes and honing her skills in the kitchen.

She smiled knowingly when I showed her the recipe, her eyes sparkling with memories of her own culinary adventures. "Ah, Benachin," she said, her voice tinged with nostalgia. "I learned how to make that dish many years ago, when I was just a young girl."

My grandmother went on to tell me the story of how she had acquired the recipe for Chicken and Beef Benachin. It was a tale of travel and adventure, of exotic lands and new flavors, woven together with the threads of family tradition and cultural heritage.

She explained that Benachin was a traditional West African dish, popular in countries like Senegal and Gambia. It was a one-pot meal, perfect for feeding a hungry family or a gathering of friends. The name Benachin itself meant "one pot" in the Wolof language, reflecting the simplicity and convenience of the dish.

My grandmother had first tasted Benachin during a trip to Senegal many years ago. She had been invited to a local family's home for dinner, where she was treated to a feast of aromatic rice, tender chicken, and flavorful beef, all cooked together in a rich and spicy tomato sauce.

Impressed by the delicious flavors and warm hospitality of her hosts, my grandmother had asked for the recipe, determined to recreate the dish in her own kitchen. The family had been happy to share their culinary secrets, passing down the recipe from generation to generation.

As my grandmother spoke, I could sense her passion for cooking and her love for exploring new cuisines. She had always been an adventurous cook, unafraid to try new ingredients and experiment with different flavors. Her kitchen was a treasure trove of recipes from around the world, each one telling a story of its own.

With her guidance, I set out to make Chicken and Beef Benachin for the first time. We gathered all the necessary ingredients – chicken, beef, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices – and set to work preparing the dish.

The kitchen was filled with the tantalizing aroma of sizzling meat and simmering sauce as we cooked, the colors and textures of the ingredients coming together in a harmonious blend. My grandmother showed me how to layer the flavors, how to adjust the seasoning to taste, and how to achieve the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and spicy.

As we sat down to enjoy our meal, I took my first bite of Chicken and Beef Benachin, savoring the complex flavors and tender textures. It was a dish that spoke of tradition and heritage, of family and community, of love and nourishment.

From that day on, Chicken and Beef Benachin became a staple in my own culinary repertoire. I made it for family gatherings, potluck dinners, and special occasions, sharing the recipe with friends and loved ones who marveled at its exotic flavors and comforting warmth.

I often think back to that hot summer day when I first discovered the recipe for Chicken and Beef Benachin, and the journey of discovery and delight that it set me on. It is a dish that holds a special place in my heart, a reminder of the endless possibilities and joys that cooking can bring.

And so, as I pass down this recipe to you, my dear grandchild, I hope that you will embrace it with the same spirit of curiosity and wonder that I did. May it inspire you to explore new flavors, try new recipes, and create your own culinary adventures. And may it always bring you joy, nourishment, and a taste of the world beyond your kitchen walls. Bon appétit!


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