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Chicken Yassa, a spicy and tasty Senegalese dish

Recipe proposed by
Tiziana Colombo

pollo Yassa
Recipes for Intolerants, Italian Cuisine, Recipes from the World
Gluten-free recipes
Lactose-free recipes
Preparation: 01 ore 00 min
Cooking: 01 ore 00 min
Ingredients for: 4 people
5/5 (2 Reviews)

Chicken Yassa, a marinated version with parsley

Today, I’m going to share with you a slightly altered version of the Senegalese marinated chicken, known as Yassa, in which parsley serves as the primary marinade component.

The focal point of the November edition of the “Herbs and Flowers” column, which I co-author with my friends Paola Segattini of My Recipes With and Without, Daniela Boscariolo from Timo e Lenticchie, Marialuisa Maruzzella from Mantra Bio, Elisa from Rienzo de Il Fior di Cappero, and Miria Onesta from Due Amiche in Cucina, is, in fact, parsley, a column dedicated to showcasing the culinary potential and immense adaptability of aromatic herbs and edible blooms.

For fish and white meats in particular, parsley proves to be an indispensable ally. It offers a subtle, bitter flavour that makes for pleasing contrasts and a vibrant green colour to food. Because it is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and mineral salts, it is also beneficial to your health when consumed sparingly. Even in its dried form, it has few calories. In this dish, parsley enhances the flavour of the marinade, which is a key component of the Yassa chicken.

Recipe chicken yassa

Preparation chicken yassa

  • Slice the onions and transfer them to a bowl in order to begin preparing the chicken Yassa. Add the salt, lemon juice, three tablespoons of mustard, and seasoning cubes that have been smashed into crumbs. Finally, thoroughly combine everything.
  • Now cut the chicken into cubes and pour them into a large bowl. Add the ginger, nutmeg, two tablespoons of mustard, and two crumbled seasoning cubes. Then mix everything well.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the green sauce by blending the garlic, bay leaf, onions, and oil. Once you have obtained a mixture with a coarse consistency, add the parsley and blend again until the mixture becomes smooth.
  • Cook the freshly seasoned onions in a pan with oil. Add two tablespoons of marinade and mix. Then add a teaspoon of sugar and cook again over low heat.
  • In a second pan, fry the chicken in plenty of oil until the meat has become crispy. Finally, drain them and add them to the onion stew.
  • Now cook the chicken in the pan with the onion stew over very low heat. At the end of the cooking, add lots of parsley and some green olives.
  • Finally, cook for another ten minutes, and serve the Yassa chicken with white rice.

For the chicken:

  • 600 gr. of chicken breasts,
  • 3 onions,
  • 5 tablespoons of mustard,
  • juice of 1 lemon,
  • 4 nut cubes,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • a pinch of pepper,
  • 2 tablespoons powdered ginger,
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg,
  • b. of green olives,
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

For the green marinade:

  • 3 cloves of garlic,
  • 4 bay leaves,
  • b. of onions,
  • b. of parsley,
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

Discovering Yassa chicken

Yassa is a Senegalese dish made with chicken and rice, a complete dish that is appreciated for the variety of flavours and the massive use of spices. The recipe is different from the chicken-based main courses that are prepared in our area; however, it is easy, although a little elaborate.

It entails making a marinade with spices, parsley, aromatic herbs, and garlic. Instead of preparing the chicken for cooking, this marinade is added to a big pot and used to cook the partially fried chicken once the white onions have been stewed.

Everything is then accompanied with white rice, in a very similar way to what happens with our bread.

A very tasty marinade for Yassa chicken

The marinade is unquestionably the key component of Yassa Chicken, giving it a deep, complex flavour. The herb parsley, which gives the meal a hint of brightness and is fresh and somewhat spicy, is highlighted in this rendition. Garlic, bay leaves, and extra virgin olive oil, together with the other marinade components, come together to produce the ideal flavour combination.

Garlic, with its intensity and pungency, is the soul of this blend, while bay leaf, with its slightly bitter notes, provides a pleasant softness, creating a unique taste synergy. The marinating process is simple: a quick whisk in the blender is all it takes to blend these flavours together.

The parsley, added at the end, is not just an embellishment. It is a celebration of the ‘Herbs and Flowers’ rubric, which is reflected in the freshness and vibrant colour it adds to the dish. This herb is not just a minor detail, but a crucial player that elevates the entire taste experience.

Additionally, when the onions are cooking, some of the most fragrant and potent spices, such as nutmeg and ginger, are added, which enhances the meal even more and takes the palate on a sensory excursion through the real flavours of Senegalese food. In the end, the marinade for Yassa Chicken is a brilliant illustration of how basic materials, when paired with thought and care, can produce a memorable dining experience.

How intriguing is Senegalese food?

Yassa chicken gives us the opportunity to learn more about Senegalese cuisine, which is one of the most particular in all of Africa. The distinctive feature of this type of cuisine is the variety, which is the result of contacts with other civilizations and different cultures.

In Senegalese cuisine, we find typically Asian elements, such as rice, which is used to accompany many recipes. Also peculiar is the presence of fish (marinated with lemon juice and various spices), demonstrating the maritime vocation of the Senegalese people.

While they don’t have the same “intensity” as other Southeast Asian cuisines, spices are nonetheless a major component of Senegalese cuisine. Although it is a welcomed element, spicy food is not unique to this kind of cooking.

However, there has also been a fusion of Mediterranean and Senegalese cuisines. The significance that legumes—in particular, black beans, lentils, and chickpeas—assume serves as evidence of this. On the other hand, in contrast to European cuisine, these legumes are served as a side dish without any significant sauces.

Yassa Chicken FAQ

Why marinate chicken?

The chicken is marinated not only to give it a soft texture but also to add flavour. In the Yassa chicken recipe, the marinade is made up of onions, garlic, bay leaves, and lots of parsley.

What is chicken meat good for?

Because it is highly digestible, low in fat, and high in protein, chicken meat is a healthy food choice. White meat is regarded as harmless because it doesn’t contain any chemicals that cause cancer.

How do you make chicken meat softer?

Chicken meat can be made tender by beating it. In this case, however, you must be careful not to let its juices escape. Another method consists of marinating, which makes it soft and transmits flavours and smells.

Which spices complement chicken well?

With chicken, a variety of spices and herbs pair well. Here, the addition of parsley, nutmeg, and bay leaves results in a pleasing balance of strong and subtle flavours.

5/5 (2 Reviews)
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