Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chicken Yassa... My African journey continues!

The first time I became aware of Senegalese Yassa was when I read a post by Tasty Trix.  It was a vegetarian version with seitan, which I have only just recently located in Bulgaria.  The flavors were really good, so when I came across Poulet Yassa (poulet is "chicken" in french) in The Congo Cookbook, I decided to try it again as part of my African exploration, which commenced with Tagine Chicken, Preserved Lemons and Olives.

This week I was motivated to plan my meal for the entire week, then create on grocery list, do a big shopping trip and stick to the plan.  I was inspired by the folks at  A Good Appetite and of course my desire to explore African cuisine. Because I planned ahead, I was able to marinate the chicken for the yassa overnight.  This was one of the main components of the dish, so I was happy to have it out of the way.
My mise en place!
All of the marinate ingredients mixed together and ready for the fridge.
I took the chicken out of the fridge about an hour before I intended to cook it to ensure that it cooked evenly.  I then separated the onions and the marinade from the chicken and cooked the chicken in a skillet till it began to brown.
In a separate skillet I cooked the onions, which I should have cooked longer than I did.  They should have been softer, but with a hungry family waiting, I needed to rush a bit.  You think I would have been better organized, since I marinated the chicken the night before, but no, dinner was still on the table after 8pm.
After the onions had cooked with the left over marinade, I added the reserved chicken to the onion marinade mixture and allowed to cook till the chicken was ready.
I actually served this dish with couscous, chickpeas and prunes (since I didn't have any raisins).  I had mistakenly thought I served the Tagine chicken with this side dish, but I actually served that with rice.  
I really enjoyed this dish, I neglected to add the extra veggies that were optional (cabbage and carrots), which is odd because I had them ready in the fridge. I think if I make this again, I will cut the number of onions, I used 6, which was the maximum because my kids and husband don't really like them and add the extra veggies.

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