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Yassa: Lets Cook Chicken the Senegalese Way

Making chicken in an entirely new way could be the spice to get your celebrations in the right colours. Senegal, like several African countries, have exciting cuisines that can give more life to your taste buds and keep up conversations at dinner tables. There are a lot of ways to cook chicken but in West Africa, Yassa chicken stands out as subtle yet delicious .
It originates from the Casamance region of Senegal.  SwaliAfrica shares how to make the classic Chicken Yassa

Yassa is a traditional spicy marinated dish that can be made with poultry or fish. When chicken is used, it is known as Poulet Yassa or Chicken Yassa. When fish is used, it is known as Poisson Yassa.

Yassa Poisson. Flickr / liesvanrompaey

Yassa Poisson. Flickr / liesvanrompaey

In this article, Chicken Yassa is the focus. So get all these ingredients ready,

  1. One whole Chicken cut into servable pieces.
  2. 8 tablespoonful of lemon Juice
  3. 4 large onions chopped into pieces
  4. 2 tablespoonful of vegetable oil
  5. Cayenne pepper
  6. 4 tablespoonful of Dijon mustard
  7. A small clove of cabbage
  8. 8 tablespoonful of cider vinegar
  9. 2 fresh bay leaf
  10. 4 cloves of garlic chopped into fine pieces.
  11. 1 or 2 cubes of seasoning
  12. Salt to taste

A total of 9 hours is required to make Yassa, where almost 8 hours go into marinating the chicken.


  1. Separate the vegetable oil and mix the rest of the ingredients together in a clean bowl to make a marinade then put your chicken pieces into it. You could use a plastic bag if you want. After mixing them together, allow the chicken to marinate in a refrigerator for about 8 hours, or simply overnight.
  2. To cook, separate the chicken from the marinade. You may either sauté the chicken or grill it in an oven until it is slightly browned.
  3. Remove the onions from the marinade and fry lightly in a saucepan. Then add the remainder of the marinade into the saucepan. Let it boil for a few minutes (8-12 minutes) until it thickens into a sauce. Add salt and seasoning to your taste.
  4. Add the browned chicken into the sauce and let it simmer until it is cooked.
  5. Serve with Rice, or Couscous.

There you go! Enjoy one of West Africa’s most popular dishes.

Yassa: Learn How to Cook Chicken the Senegalese Way Click To Tweet
Flickr / Emily

Flickr / Emily

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