‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’
– Bill Shankly

Ivory Coast are an unlucky lot. Despite a ‘golden generation’ of players including the combined talents of Didier Drogba, Didier Zokora, Salomon Kalou, Emmanuel Eboué, Cheik Tioté, Gervinho, and the Touré brothers they have failed to get beyond the first round in their previous three World Cup finals. In 2006 the Elephants were drawn in a ‘group of death’ with Argentina, the Netherlands, and Serbia-Montenegro, where they lost their first two games, and were out before playing their third. Four years later, in another ‘group of death’ they lost out to Brazil and Portugal, finishing third in Group G, which also featured North Korea.

2006 is remembered for other reasons however, as the qualification of the Ivory Coast for the tournament in Germany was actually the catalyst for a temporary peace agreement during the First Ivorian Civil War, with the nation uniting behind the team.

My Ivorian World Cup Dinner is Kedjenou- a spicy chicken stew, normally served with attieke, a dish made from grated cassava (but we’re having it with cous cous!)


INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 chicken thighs
1 medium onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
200g chopped tomatoes
250ml beef stock (from cube)
1/2 tbsp ginger paste
1/2 tbsp garlic puree
2 bay leaves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
1-2 whole scotch bonnet peppers
Salt and pepper to taste
Cous cous to serve

1. Add oil to a pan and brown the chicken thighs, turning, for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. Add the vegetables and soften for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes, herbs, and seasoning.
3. Add the chicken thighs to a slow cooker and top with the vegetable mix. Add the chilli pepper and stock so that the meat and vegetables are just covered. Cook on high for 5-6 hours.
(alternatively cook in a casserole dish in the oven at 190C for 2 hours)

Serve with 70g cous cous per person.


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