Poulet Yassa (Senegalese Chicken With Onions and Lemon)

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“Poulet yassa is a famous Senegalese dish that has become popular throughout Western Africa. The long marinating of the chicken in the lemon juice helps to tenderize the tough poultry found in the region. I did not include marinating time. Enjoy!”
1hr 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 -3 lbs chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 4 -6 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 -3 hot chili pepper, minced, depending on your taste
  • 4 -5 lemons, juice only
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 14 cup peanut oil or 14 cup vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper, to season


  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.
  7. Sometimes vegetables are added to the pot to stretch the meat and add more flavor. Add 2-3 chopped carrots, 1/2 head of chopped cabbage or a handful of green olives when you bring the marinade to simmer.
  8. Half of the lemon juice can be replaced with vinegar. Cider vinegar works well.

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