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Sengalese Chicken Yassa


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  • 1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 large onions thinly sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon minced fresh habanero chile or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 frying chicken - (2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs) cut serving pieces
  • 1 habanero chile pricked with fork
  • 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives
  • 4 carrots scraped, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Servings 6


Step 1

In a large non-reactive bowl, prepare marinade by mixing the lemon juice, onions, salt, pepper, minced chile, and 4 tablespoons of the peanut oil. Place the chicken pieces in the marinade, making sure that they are all well covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the broiler. Remove the chicken pieces, reserving the marinade and onions, and place the chicken in a shallow pan. Broil the chicken until it is lightly browned on both sides. Remove the onions from the marinade.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a flameproof 5-quart casserole or Dutch oven and cook the onions slowly until tender and translucent. Add the reserved marinade. When the liquid is thoroughly heated, add the chicken pieces, pricked chile, olives, carrots, mustard, and water.

When the dish has reached the desired degree of hotness, remove the chile and reserve (it can be served separately to the chile heads). Stir to mix well, then bring the yassa slowly to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over Plain White Rice.

For the Plain White Rice: Bring the water to a boil in medium saucepan. Stir in the remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the rice from the heat and allow it to stand for 5 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

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