African Chicken Recipe
Chicken Yassa

Yassa is an African chicken recipe which our family has liked very much ever since a visit to Senegal. Fabulous is this dish is very flexible.

It tastes great with grilled chicken drumsticks or lamb cutlets, but it also goes well with cubed or striped chicken, lamb or even beef. The key ingredients are mustard and vinegar that give this dish its specific note. All of the other spices are there to enhance and give specific hints.

Experience taught us, that proper preparation and marinating the meat beforehand is a big plus on the over all result.

African Chicken Recipe - Chicken Yassa

Ingredients to the African chicken recipe:
Serves 3

brown long grain rice
chicken drumsticks
white pepper
curry powder
Himalayan crystal salt
vegetable stock
apple cider vinegar
olive oil

  • 2 cups of organic brown rice (washed, checked for stones and soaked over night)
  • 9 chicken drum sticks
  • 3 tablespoons of mustard (mild American)
  • Spices: pepper to taste, pinch of curry (optional), salt to taste, 2 teaspoons of vegetable stock, 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 medium sized yellow onions (about 600g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 12 olives
  • 1 green capsicum (optional)
  • olive oil


It is best to marinate the chicken drumsticks 1 hour or more before either frying, putting them on the barbeque or baking them in the oven.


  1. Put the drumsticks in a big bowl and smother them in mustard.
  2. Season with pepper, a pinch of curry, salt, 2 teaspoons of vegetable stock and the two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar followed by 1 teaspoon of paprika. Toss well!
  3. Peel the onions and the 2 cloves of garlic. Slice or roughly dice the onions and squash the garlic. Add both to the chicken and toss well. Cover the mix and let rest for an hour or more in the fridge.


  1. Using the oven to bake the chicken, grease a deep tray and spread only the drumsticks. Bake at 230C° for about 35 to 45 minutes.
  2. Bring about 3 cups of water to the boil once you have screened the rice for stones, washed and soaked it over night beforehand. Otherwise it will be about 4 cups of water.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a big pan and fry the onions until clear (later you will add the drumsticks).
  4. In the mean time peel and slice the carrots. Add them to the onions. Stir! Let cook at low heat. After about 10 minutes when the carrots are cooked through taste the sauce. Should you need more liquid pour some water in and adjust your seasoning.

    If the vinegar dominates the taste add a bit more vegetable stock and a pinch of sugar. A pinch of sugar especially comes well if you opted to add green capsicum.
  5. Pit the olives. When the chicken is done add the chicken and the olives to the onion carrot mix. Toss and let the whole sauce sit for five minutes while the heat is off.

The African chicken recipe 'yassa' is ready to serve.


chicken breast cubes
lamb cutlets
lamb cubes

If you choose lamb cutlets treat them as you would treat the chicken drumsticks.

In case you decided to useé meat cubes or stripes marinate them as described, but when you fry the marinade start with the meat. This means pick out all pieces of meat with a fork and place them into the frying pan with hot oil. When the meat is cooked through add the onions. When these are clear add the carrots and later the olives and the optional green capsicum.

  • 300g of chicken breast cut in cubes or stripes
  • 9 lamb cutlets

Side dish to the African chicken recipe:

penne pasta

Side dishes that go well with yassa besides rice are noodles or couscous. Finer noodles are often steamed like the couscous to guarantee their fluffiness while having their highest volume possible.

Is there a vegetarian Yassa?

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As a matter of fact we did experiment quite successfully with creating a vegetarian Yassa.

In doing so, the meat was substituted by textured dried soy cubes. These were soaked in vegetable stock and then added to the mustard onion marinade. The marinade covered the bland taste of the soy cubes completely.

I would love to hear which combination you like best. Leave a comment about the African chicken recipe using the Facebook plug-in at the bottom of the page.

African inspired recipes:

Go to African chicken recipe - yassa
Go to African lamb stew recipe - mafe
Go to thiacry a kind of fruit soup

| | African Chicken Recipe

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