Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Recipe for Poulet Yassa | Senegalese Chicken

It may be hard to see under all those onions, but there's chicken there! Yassa chicken is a Senegalese recipe that's become popular throughout West Africa. It's a stewed chicken that's tasty and moist with a tangy lemon onion sauce. It's a fairly simple recipe, but does need to marinate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, so you'll have to plan ahead. Serve it with rice and you've got a tasty West African dinner. Other than the fact that Pea doesn't like onions, we all enjoyed this dish (with onions removed for her). 

Poulet Yassa

Serves 4
  • 4 chicken pieces (breasts, thighs)
  • 3 large onions, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 carrots, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided (or peanut oil if you have it)
  • 2 tbsp grainy or dijon mustard
  • good pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup of water
1. Prepare the marinade with the onions, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, cayenne and 1/4 cup of oil. Put the chicken pieces in the marinade, and marinate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

2. Remove the chicken pieces and reserve the marinade. Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a large saute pan, and brown the chicken on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side. Put the chicken aside. With a slotted spoon, take out the onions from the marinade, and saute them on low until they are soft, for about 6-8 minutes.

3. Add the rest of the marinade, the water and the sliced carrots in the pan with the onions and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and add the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

4. Serve with rice and enjoy!


  1. As soon as you said marinate for 2 hours I knew we'd never make that recipe. Marinating things is always my downfall as I start to cook the meal an hour before dinner and see the words "Marinate for _____" much loud yelling and many thuds as I angrily put things down on my counter.

    1. I've read this comment twice now, and I laughed out loud both times :) I've had many similar moments - I find a recipe, get the ingredients, and days later start making it and having forgotten some very important, time consuming aspects I had forgotten - pushing making it to yet another day. Oh, and many thuds as well and angry whispering under my breath.


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