Chicken Yassa – poulet-au-yassa

Enjoy the flavors of West Africa with this Senegalese Poulet Yassa made from Chicken pieces, marinated overnight with lots of onions, some mustard, and a bit of lemon juice. This dish is so easy to make, smells great, looks beautiful, and tastes delicious. If you are in the mood for an exotic dish try this one!

Chicken Yassa 

When you think about YASSA, what first comes to mind is ONIONS! Yes, onions are the foundation of the delicious recipe, but don’t let that scare you from making this dish. When you make it, you will see how well the onions complement the flavor of the Chicken. Trust me; Chicken Yassa will be unthinkable without Onions! You will be wowed!

A well-made Yassa chicken speaks for itself, but I will like to add that the more the onions, the better the Yassa.

 yassa au poulet served over white rice in a black plate

What is Chicken Yassa?

Chicken Yassa or Poulet Yassa is one of the most popular traditional Senegalese dishes made with Chicken, caramelized onions, lemon, and a mixture of flavors and spices, which is typical of African cuisine.

Besides Yassa chicken, you can also make Yassa lamb – from lamb meat or Yassa Poisson (Yassa fish) from fish. 

Yassa poulet with green olives in a pan.

How to make Yassa poulet in four easy steps:

  • Step 1: Marinate the Chicken and Onion: Leave the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours. If you can go overnight, that will be just fine. The longer, the better. The chicken gets its deep flavor from marinating, and this goes a long way in making the chicken more flavorful. Please be sure not to skip this step.
  • Step 2: Brown the Chicken: Get the oil heated up and brown the chicken on both sides. You want the skin to be nicely browned and crispy.
  • Step 3: Cook down the Onions for about 5 to 10 minutes depending on how caramelized you want the onions to be.
  • Step 4: Combine everything: Add the browned chicken to the cooked down onions together with the leftover marinade and chicken stock. Cook further till done and serve over white rice.

If you are new to making African dishes, this is a good recipe to start with and you will be glad you did.

Other Delicious African Soups and stews


  • Please don’t skip the onions, lemon, and hot pepper. You will be missing out a whole lot if you do.

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If you make this Chicken Yassa Recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen

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