Yassa Poulet

This traditional chicken dish from the Casamance region of Senegal is one of the most famous African recipes. For best results let the chicken marinate overnight; in Africa, this is essential to tenderize the sometimes tougher African fowl. For the simplest yassa, make the marinade from just oil, lemon juice, onions, and a little mustard.

Serves 4

What you need:


1 chicken, cut into service sized pieces

4 onions, cut

8 tblsp lemon juice

8 tblsp vinegar

1 bay leaf

4 cloves minced garlic

2 tblsp Dijon mustard

1 small cabbage, cut in chunks

2 carrots, cut in chunks

1 tblsp soy sauce

1 chili pepper, finely chopped

red and black pepper



What you do:

1.   Mix all ingredients - except the optional vegetables -, the more onions the better, and allow chicken to marinate in a glass dish in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

2.   Remove chicken from the marinade, but save the marinade.

3.  Cook according to one of the following methods.

4.  Cooking method 1: Grill chicken over a charcoal fire (or bake it in a hot oven) until chicken is lightly browned but not done.

5. Cooking method 2: Sauté chicken for a few minutes on each side in hot oil in a frypan.

6. While chicken is browning: Remove onions from marinade and sauté them in a large saucepan for a few minutes.

7.  Add remaining marinade and the optional vegetables and bring to a slow boil, cooking the marinade into a sauce.

8. Reduce heat and add chicken to the sauce, cover and simmer until chicken is done.

Serve with Rice or Fufu.