Thursday, October 8, 2009

Yassa Poulet

There are some extraordinary dishes here in Senegal, known for the perfectly spiced meats and rice. I must share this Yassa Poulet (pronounced yeah-saw) as I have become addicted to this meal.

Yassa Poulet:
10 limes
5 tbs. Peanut Oil
2 chicken bouillon cubes
5 onions, thickly chopped
2 (3 lb.) chickens divided into 8 pieces
1 cup water
1 habenero
4 cups cooked rice *See below special Senegal Rice recipe
Optional raisins and olives

1. Grate zest of all limes and transfer to a bowl with juice. Add 2 tbs. oil, bouillon cubes, onions, s&p, and optional raisins and olives. *Some restaurants also mix in pieces of orange and fruit.

2. Rub this mixture onto chicken. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours. Strain chicken, reserving onion marinade.

3. Grill chicken, or sear in a pan, until both sides are crispy and brown. Do not cook chicken all the way through. Set aside.

4. Heat remaining 3 tbs. oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add reserved onions and cook, covered, until caramelized, adding 1/4 cup water at a time to avoid scorching. About 30 minutes.

5. Add any remaining marinade and chicken. Season with s&p and boil. Then simmer on low for 20 minutes.

6. When chicken is fully cooked transfer chicken to a platter with onion sauce. Serve with rice. Mmmmmm. Wicked good.

Senegal Rice (Nyankatang)
Most Senegal rice is made from African Djola red rice from Casamance and guedji (a flavorful dried fish spice). More than likely you will not be able to find these ingredients. A great substitution is to use basmati cooked in low sodium chicken broth.


  1. Update: NYC friends, we have been told there are a few African markets in Manhattan. 1 is in the Sengalese community of 116 and Frederick Douglass. We will post more as soon as we get more details. xo

  2. We have also been told of one on 9th and 37th. Happy cooking!