Poulet yassa (Senegalese chicken)
Prep Time: 30 minutes (excluding the time to make the pasta) + time to marinate the chicken
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Keywords: broil pan roast entree nut-free soy-free onion carrots chicken African
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
- 2 1/4 pounds / 1 kg chicken (possibly pasture-raised): 4 skin-on bone-in thighs and one full leg
- 1 pound / 450 g onion, thinly sliced (I used a large Rossa di Milano onion and a large cipollini onion)
- 8 ounces / 225 g carrots, scrubbed, scraped and thinly sliced
- 3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- Juice of 1 lemon, possibly organic
- Juice and zest of 1 organic lime
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1 bay leaf broken in half
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml grated ginger root
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, coarsely crushed (my small marble mortar and pestle are perfect for this task)
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- A small batch (prepared using 3.5 ounces / 100 g flour) of freshly made pasta, like ridged half-pipes or chickpea flour gnocchetti (or another shape from my collection of handmade pasta)
- 1/2 tablespoon / 7 g unsalted butter
InstructionsHow to prepare the marinade
I prepare the chicken in the evening and let it marinate overnight. You can shorten the time, but I suggest to marinate the chicken for at least four hours.
Cut the full leg into thigh and drumstick. Place the six chicken pieces in a large bowl that can accommodate them in one layer.
Cut the vegetables and add them to the bowl. Add the ingredients up to and including the peppercorns. Mix well with your hands, then arrange the chicken into one layer at the bottom of the bowl. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to cook.How to cook the chicken
Place an oven rack 6 inches / 15 cm from the broiler element. Preheat the broiler.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the chicken pieces on it, skin side up. Broil for eight minutes, then turn the pieces over and broil for eight minutes. The chicken will be browned on both sides, but not cooked through. While the chicken is in the oven, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. (My 5-Qt cast-iron Dutch oven works nicely; do not use anything smaller.)
Drain the vegetables and set aside the marinade. Add the vegetables to the Dutch oven and cook for 20 minutes, until the onions are translucent and soft.
Take the chicken pieces out of the oven and leave them on the baking sheet for a few minutes until you are ready to put them into the Dutch oven.
Dilute the Dijon mustard in the chicken stock. Add that and the marinade to the Dutch oven. Stir well, then increase the heat to medium, letting the liquid come to a low boil. Add the broiled chicken pieces and stir well. When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
Remove the bay leaf. Sprinkle salt and stir well.How to cook the pasta
If you choose to accompany the chicken with pasta, while the chicken is cooking with the vegetables, bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil, add some coarse salt, stir and then toss the pasta in it. The time needed to cook them is a bit variable, depending on the size and dryness of the pasta.
When the pasta is almost ready, melt the butter in a small skillet on low heat.
Taste and stop the cooking when the pasta is ready. Pour a glass of cold water in the pot and stir. Drain the pasta leaving a little bit of the cooking water clinging to it and drop into the skillet with the butter. Stir well over medium-low heat for about half a minute.How to put it all together
On a serving platter, form a ring with the chicken pieces and distribute the vegetables on them. Place the pasta in the middle and them pour the juice from the Dutch oven on it.