A New Take On A Traditional Senegalese Chicken Stew

Family, Featured

Boy oh boy! Let me tell you about THIS here recipe!

A few months ago, one of my coworkers, who is from Senegal, suggested that I try a traditional dish called Poulet Yassa, which consists of a whole chicken cut up with a gaggle of onions and fresh lemons. You marinate the whole bunch for 24 hours. You can grill or broil the chicken and you stew the onions down to a delicious sweet, tangy sauce. When I made it the first time the chicken was very dry, but those onions, DEAR LORD, those onions were fantabulous (Yes, I know that isn’t a word, but it should be).

Last night I was struggling as I usually do to figure out a proper dinner. I took out some chicken breast from the freezer. I recently bought a large bag of Vidalia onions from the grocery store. Before I knew it I was using my mandolin and slicing onions. I didn’t marinate for 24 hours obviously, but I feel like the recipe I created was far better than the original. I’ve posted the original recipe and my reinvented version. It is such a surprising flavor you will instantly smile upon the first bite. Enjoy!

ORIGINAL (Found on www.Whats4eats.com)

4 to 6 servings


  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces — 2-3 pounds
  • Onions, thinly sliced — 4-6
  • Hot chile pepper, minced — 1-3
  • Lemons, juice only — 4-5
  • Dijon mustard (optional) — 2 tablespoons
  • Peanut or vegetable oil — 1/4 cup
  • Salt and pepper — to season
  • Oil — 2-3 tablespoons


  1. Add all the ingredients except for the oil to a large non-reactive bowl and mix together. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Remove the chicken pieces, wipe dry, and grill, broil or sauté them until well browned. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium flame. Remove the onions from the marinade and add them to the pot. Sauté for 8-10 minutes until they are well wilted and starting to brown.
  4. Add the rest of the marinade and the browned chicken pieces to the onions, reduce heat to medium-low heat and simmer until cooked through and tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasoning and serve with rice, fufu or couscous.



  • 1 pound Boneless Skinless chicken (Breast or Thigh)
  • 1/2 cup of self-rising flour
  • 3 or 4 large onions
  • 1/2 cup of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed or from concentrate)
  • 4 cloves of garlic diced
  • Red Pepper flakes
  • Peanut Oil (4 tbsp for marinating and 3 tbsp for frying)
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parsley chopped

Slice onions in thin rings (preferably with a Mandolin). In a non-reactive bowl (plastic or glass) mix the onions and half of the diced garlic, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, sprinkle of red pepper flakes, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, 2 tbsp of Peanut Oil. Cover and let marinate for 2 hours.

One and a half hours in to your marinating your onions prepare your chicken. Cut each breast in to 3 large pieces. Marinate in 2 tbsp of Peanut Oil, remaining garlic and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.

In a large heavy skillet (preferably Cast Iron) heat 3 tbsp of Peanut Oil on medium high heat. Put the self-rising flour in a plate, sprinkle in a little salt and pepper. Coat the chicken pieces in the flour. Brown the chicken in the oil. Do not cook through, just brown on each side. Remove chicken from the pan. Add the onions and the marinade to the skillet. Simmer on medium for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the chicken back to the pan. Let the chicken simmer in the onions for 10 minutes. Add the wine and the Thyme. Let simmer for 5 minutes. At this time the onions should be getting brown and soft. Add the chicken stock and let the onions and liquid come to the consistency of a gravy. Sprinkle parsley.

Serve with Jasmine White Rice and my Cumin Carrots (recipe below)


  • 6-8 large carrots chopped
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Salt & Pepper

Heat a skillet on medium heat add olive oil and carrots. Cook on medium for 10 minutes covered, stirring frequently. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Add the honey and serve.


If it is taking a long time to cook your carrots put a splash of water in the pan and cover to steam your carrots and soften them.

Comments are closed.