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Chicken Yassa

Chicken Yassa

Chicken stewed in sweet, succulent onions, balanced with the acidity of lime: What's not to like? In Senegal, each family has its own version. Here's ours.


  • 3 lbs chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tsp Reshampatti pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup lime or lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 cups onions, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped fine
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock


  1. 1

    Remove skin from chicken if desired. Place in a bowl.

  2. 2

    In a mortar, mash pepper, ginger, chile, garlic and salt. Reduce to a purée and incorporate lime juice. Pour onto chicken and mix well.

  3. 3

    Pour oil into a large pot and cook onions on low heat for 1 hour until melting. Add tomatoes and turmeric. Continue cooking on low heat for another 15 minutes.

  4. 4

    Incoroporation chicken with marinade, carrots, bay leaf, thyme and stock. Cover: nudge the heat up a tick and simmer for 30 minutes. Check if chicken is done and cook longer if necessary.

  5. 5

    Incorporate mustard and olives. Remove from heat and let rest at least 15 minutes before serving.