Poulet yassa

by Zoe Adjonyoh

A classic Senegalese dish

This classic Senegalese dish is so simple and delicious. It is perhaps not often recognised as having African origins because of its French name.


For the marinade:
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp cider vinegar
4 medium red onions, sliced
70ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 green habanero chilli, de-seeded and finely diced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tbsp wild honey
½ fresh nutmeg, grated

4-6 jointed chicken thighs and legs (240-260g each)
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 habanero chilli, pricked with a knife
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
128ml vegetable stock


In a large glass bowl, prepare the marinade by mixing all the ingredients. Place the chicken pieces into the marinade, ensuring they’re all well covered. Cover the bowl with cling film. Marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Heat the oven to 180C. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, reserving the marinade and onions. Place the chicken in a shallow frying pan over a medium heat and saute the chicken for 4-5 mins on each side until golden.

Meanwhile, remove the onions from the marinade. Heat 1 tbsp groundnut oil in a flameproof casserole dish or frying pan and cook the onions slowly until tender and translucent. Add the reserved marinade. When the liquid is thoroughly heated, add the pricked habanero, carrots, bay leaf and vegetable stock. Mix well, then bring slowly to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the chicken pieces, cover and cook for about 30 mins, until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve over coconut rice.

Recipe: Zoe Adjonyoh
Image: John Holdship