Chicken Yassa

Welcome to this month's Eat The World, where we are checking out the country of Senegal. Senegal is a country in western Africa sounded by Mauritania to the north, Mali to the west, the Atlantic to the east, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to the south. Senegal completely encompasses the country of Gambia. Due to a history of French colonization in the region Senegalese cooking is a mix of African flavors and styles with a French influence.

The Pandemonium Family tried yassa years ago and loved it, but it wasn’t really the same, I used a bottled sauce. It was delicious, but not nearly as good as the real thing. As soon as the country for this month was announced I knew what recipe I was doing, or redoing in this case. Food of African and Panning the Globe both had great recipes I adapted from. 

This version of the recipe is a great amalgam of simple ingredients most people have on hand, when combined they create something elevated. Perfect for pandemic cooking, easy to find ingredients but with a taste that is unique and exciting. The grilled chicken flavor is incredible, especially when combined with the sweet caramelized onions, tangy mustard, and zesty lemon. We enjoyed this with a nice Senegalese style chopped salad.

Check out all the wonderful Senegales dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Café Touba (Senegalese Spiced Coffee) #eattheworld Culinary Adventures with Camilla: The Kitchen Elves' Senegalese-Style Gumbo CulturEatz: Senegalese Mango Chocolate Pound Cake A Day in the Life on the Farm: Maafe Making Miracles: Senegalese Poulet Yassa Sneha’s Recipe: Poulet Yassa -Senegalese Style Chicken Dinner By Dennis: Fataya (Deep Fried Senegalese Street Food)
Kitchen Frau: Mafé (Senegalese Beef & Peanut Stew) 
The Schizo Chef: Senegalese Sweet Potato Shrimp Fritters


12 chicken thighs
3 large onions, sliced
½ c. lemon juice
4 Tbsp. peanut oil
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
4 large cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper
2 c. chicken broth

In a large bowl combine the lemon juice, oil, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Place the chicken in a large zipper seal bag leaving the marinade in the bowl. Add the onions to the marinade and toss to coat. Add the onions and remaining marinade to the chicken in the bag and seal shut. Place in the bag in the bowl and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 

Heat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil. Using tongs, lift the onions out and into the pan. Cook, stirring often but not constantly, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, grill the chicken breast, still reserving the marinade, until cooked on both sides. Don’t worry about cooking it all the way through, it will finish on the stove. 

Push the caramelized onions to one side of the pan and add half the grilled chicken thighs. Scoop all of the onions on top of the chicken thighs and add the remaining thighs to the now empty side of the pan. Even the onions out over the top and add the reserved marinade and chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. 

Top with lemon zest, sliced green onions, and/or chopped parsley. 

Serve with rice. 

Check out previous #Eat the World contributions!

Original Picture - Post Updated 4/7/2020


  1. Your chicken looks fantastic - I love the deep caramelization you got onto the skin! It's great that it uses such basic ingredients we've got in the house right now - it will brighten up our chicken menu in the weeks ahead - trying it for sure!

  2. Oh how I do love Yassa - something about that smell as it simmers away. So comforting!

  3. Love that crisp skin on your chicken. I can see why this recipe was so popular this month. Can't wait to try it.

  4. This looks amazing! I will need to try it soon!

  5. Love this color the chicken got, look so yum!

  6. You are so lucky to have known what you would do right away. And it looks delicious, love the onions like that.


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