HomeDinnerPoulet Yassa - Senegalese Chicken Recipe

Poulet Yassa – Senegalese Chicken Recipe

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Poulet Yassa – Senegalese Chicken Recipe

Poulet Yassa is a beloved dish from Senegal, characterized by its vibrant flavors and a perfect balance of tanginess and spice. This mouthwatering chicken recipe marinated in a zesty onion and lemon sauce is sure to transport your taste buds to the heart of West Africa. Let’s embark on this culinary adventure together!

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Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken drumsticks
  • 4 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
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  1. Marinate the Chicken:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken thighs and drumsticks with half of the minced garlic, half of the lemon juice, dried thyme, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
    • Ensure the chicken pieces are well coated with the marinade.
    • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, allowing the flavors to infuse into the chicken.
  2. Prepare the Onion Marinade:
    • In another bowl, combine the thinly sliced onions, the remaining minced garlic, the rest of the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and vegetable oil.
    • Mix thoroughly to create the zesty onion marinade.
    • Add the bay leaves to the mixture for an extra layer of flavor.
  3. Sauté the Chicken:
    • Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or pan over medium-high heat.
    • Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off.
    • Sear the chicken in the hot skillet until golden brown on both sides. This step helps lock in the juices and flavors.
  4. Simmer in the Onion Marinade:
    • Once the chicken is seared, remove it from the skillet and set it aside.
    • In the same skillet, add the zesty onion marinade.
    • Cook the onions over medium heat until they become translucent and slightly caramelized.
  5. Combine Chicken and Onions:
    • Return the seared chicken to the skillet, nestling it among the onions.
    • Cover the skillet and let everything simmer together over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
  6. Serve Poulet Yassa:
    • Serve the Poulet Yassa hot over a bed of cooked white rice.
    • Garnish with fresh herbs or lemon wedges for an extra burst of flavor.
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Poulet Yassa is a delightful culinary journey through the flavors of Senegal. The tender chicken marinated in a zesty onion and lemon sauce creates a symphony of tastes that’s both comforting and exotic. This dish is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of West Africa and is sure to become a favorite in your own kitchen.


  1. Can I use boneless, skinless chicken for this recipe?
    • While bone-in, skin-on chicken is traditional and adds depth of flavor, you can use boneless, skinless chicken pieces for a quicker preparation.
  2. What’s the best way to adjust the spice level in Poulet Yassa?
    • To control the spiciness, you can increase or decrease the amount of cayenne pepper used in the marinade.
  3. Are there any traditional side dishes that pair well with Poulet Yassa?
    • Poulet Yassa is often served with rice or couscous. You can also enjoy it with a side of grilled vegetables or a simple salad.
  4. Can I prepare Poulet Yassa in advance?
    • Yes, Poulet Yassa can be made in advance and reheated. In fact, the flavors often deepen and improve when allowed to meld overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. Is there a vegetarian version of Yassa for non-meat eaters?
    • Absolutely! You can make a vegetarian Yassa using tofu or seitan instead of chicken. The key is in the flavorful onion and lemon marinade.

Source: lowcarbafrica.com

Poulet Yassa - Senegalese Chicken Recipe

Poulet Yassa - Senegalese Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Poulet Yassa is a beloved dish from Senegal, characterized by its vibrant flavors and a perfect balance of tanginess and spice. This mouthwatering chicken recipe marinated in a zesty onion and lemon sauce is sure to transport your taste buds to the heart of West Africa. Let's embark on this culinary adventure together!


  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon bouillon powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste


  • Wash and pat dry the chicken, then cut the onions and mince the garlic.

  • Place the chicken in a large bowl.

  • Add the garlic, onions, lemon juice, mustard, and spices.

  • Mix together and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

  • Take the chicken out of the marinade and scrape off the marinade and onions, but don't toss it.

  • Add some olive oil to a skillet or large dutch oven and place the chicken on it.

  • Brown it for 4-5 minutes on both sides on medium-high heat.

  • Take the chicken out, add the onions, and pour in the remaining marinade.

  • Cook on low to medium-low heat for about 5 minutes till it is caramelized.

  • Add the browned chicken pieces to the sweet caramelized onions.

  • Add the chicken broth to the hot pan, and cook for 15-20 minutes, till the chicken is fully cooked.

  • Taste for salt and adjust if needed.


This recipe serves 4 and contains 11 net carbs per serving.

  • Try using a different type of mustard, such as whole-grain mustard or spicy brown mustard, if you do not have any dijon mustard.
  • Add some chopped bell peppers to the dish for extra color and sweetness. For a kick, add fresh habanero pepper or hot chile pepper.
  • You can adjust the spice level by adding more or less cayenne pepper to this chicken Yassa recipe.
  • Be sure to brown the chicken nicely before adding the onions.
  • Make sure to use fresh lemon juice for the best results. If you can't find fresh lemons, you can use bottled lemon juice or lime juice.
  • You can try adding some other spices for added flavor, such as black pepper or bay leaves.

Nutrition Information
Yield 1 Serving Size 4
Amount Per ServingCalories 1654Total Fat 115gSaturated Fat 28gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 86gCholesterol 671mgSodium 4243mgCarbohydrates 38gFiber 6gSugar 15gProtein 130g

The information contained herein is subject to change.

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