Malian Poulet Yassa is actually a dish that originated in Kenya. However, it spread and became popular all over West Africa. In Mali, Poulet Yassa became so popular, and yet modified just enough to make Malian Poulet Yassa a national dish in its own right.
This Poulet Yassa uses chicken. You can also substitute any firm fish for the poultry. If so, the marinating time need only be half and hour to an hour. West African chicken tends to be tougher than the farm grown commercial chicken in the Americas and Europe, so the marination is helpful – not only for flavor, but it is a tenderizer.
Malian Poulet Yassa Recipe-
- 1 whole chicken, about 3 to 4 lb., chopped into serving pieces
- 5 or 6 small white or yellow onions, sliced thin
- 2 or 3 habanero peppers, chopped fine (Note: for super hot and spicy, leave seeds in – for less hot and spicy, remove seeds)
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 or 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup peanut oil, plus 2 or 3 tbsp. more
- salt and pepper to taste
- 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.
- Remove the chicken pieces, wipe dry, and grill, broil or saute them until well browned. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium flame. Remove the onions from the marinade and add them to the pot. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes until they are well wilted and starting to brown.
- 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 to 40 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning and serve your Malian Poulet Yassa with rice, fufu or couscous.
Note: For more delicious, authentic dishes from Mali, click here.
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