CHICKEN YASSA

CHICKEN YASSA

We were served this national dish twice in Senegal. It’s different and delicious. I found several recipes on the Internet, but like this one from the NYAM web site best. I plan to make it soon for an African dinner party. Serve with rice. Serves six.

Marinade

2 bay leaves

fresh thyme sprigs or 2 teaspoons dried

1 -2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup cider vinegar

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1 habanero/scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and ribbed, chopped

1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce

<p>1 3lb chicken or the equivalent in bone-in pieces

(coarse salt and lemon for cleaning)

5 large white or yellow onions, sliced

1/2 cup chicken stock

Zest of one lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Chopped parsley for garnish

Combine all marinade ingredients and set aside. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. Cut off any extra skin and fat. Rub the chicken with half of a lemon and it’s juice, then rub down with coarse salt.

Combine chicken pieces (either in a large ziploc or non-reactive bowl) with marinade, then add onions. Make sure all is well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best. Turn occasionally.

Remove meat and onion from marinade separately. Reserve marinade.

Add a bit of oil to a large skillet and brown chicken pieces in batches over medium-high heat, then set aside. The natural sugars in the marinade will cause alot of browing in the pan, but that’s good.

Add drained onions to the pan and cook until wilted and carmelized. Then, pour in reserved marinade plus 1/2 cup chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Nestle browned chicken pieces into the liquid, covering them with the onions. Cover pot. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for an hour, or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear.

During the last 5 minutes of cooking, remove lid and turn heat up so the sauce can reduce a bit. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems.

Lastly take the chicken off the heat and stir in lemon zest. Serve with rice.

Feb 4, 2011

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