When i was a baby, my parents were expatriated to Dakar, Senegal for almost a year. My mom brought back this recipe with her. She has always been making it. I cannot tell why but I am very attached to this dish… Maybe it reminds me of the smell of the kitchen then or just of soul of the country I lived in.
Side note: Apparently, in the Casamance region of Senegal, where the dish originated, Monkey Yassa, is considered a delicacy. Food for thought. 🙂
1 big fresh hormone and antibiotic free chicken
2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1kg thinly sliced red onions
1 chili (optional with kids)
peanut or canola oil
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 minced garlic cloves
500g rice or bulgur to serve with it
- Cut the fresh chicken, separating the breast, thighs and wings.
- In a large bowl, prepare marinade by mixing the lemon juice, onions, salt, pepper, minced chile, and 5 tablespoons of 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. Over night is even better.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Remove the chicken pieces and reserve the marinade.
- Place the chicken pieces on the broiler rack and grill them until they are lightly browned. If you have a BBQ, doing this on the BBQ, it is even better as you get the traditional “charcoal taste”.
- Pour the marinade ( mostly just onions) in a pot and stir fry. Cook them slowly until tender. It is ok to let them burn a bit, it will give the dish a “traditional” taste.
- Add just a bit of water, with a wooden spoon, scrap the “burnt” off the pot’s side to mix it with the rest.
- Add the chicken pieces and 2 cups water and let simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.