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Milk Street Bowtie Senegalese Braised Chicken with Onions and Lime (Chicken Yassa)

Senegalese Braised Chicken with Onions and Lime (Chicken Yassa)

1¼ hours plus marinating

Senegalese Braised Chicken with Onions and Lime (Chicken Yassa)

Free

With just a few ingredients, yassa ginaar delivers multiple layers of flavor—savory yet sweet with lightly caramelized onions, citrusy with lime zest and juice, meaty from the deeply browned chicken, and spicy from the heat of a habañero chili. Our version is based on a recipe in “Yolele!” by Pierre Thiam, who marinates then sears the chicken, then uses the marinade as a base for the flavorful sauce. Bouillon concentrate adds to the savoriness of the dish; our preferred brand is Better than Bouillon. Serve with steamed rice.

4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
3 tablespoons grated lime zest, plus 6 tablespoons lime juice
1 habanero chili, seeded and minced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon concentrate (see note)
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks, trimmed
3 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
Finely chopped fresh chives, to serve
Ingredients
  • 4

    tablespoons peanut oil, divided

  • 3

    tablespoons grated lime zest, plus 6 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1

    habanero chili, seeded and minced

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    teaspoons chicken bouillon concentrate (see note)

  • 2

    pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks, trimmed

  • 3

    medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • Finely chopped fresh chives, to serve

Directions
  1. 01
    In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of oil, the lime zest, habanero, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Transfer 2 teaspoons of the mixture to a small bowl and set aside. To the remaining oil-zest mixture, whisk in the lime juice, bouillon and ¼ cup water. Add the chicken and onions and toss. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate up to 2 hours, stirring once.
    See Demo
    09 2518Cpk 091
  2. 02
    Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Set a colander over a large bowl and strain the onions, reserving both the marinade and the onions.
    See Demo
    09 2518Cpk 192
  3. 03
    In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until barely smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Set the pot over medium heat and stir in the onions and ¼ cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.
    See Demo
    09 2518Cpk 205
  4. 04
    Stir the reserved marinade into the onions. Return the chicken, skin side up, to the pot, nestling the pieces in the sauce, then pour in any accumulated juices. Reduce to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the thickest part of the meat meets no resistance, about 25 minutes.
    See Demo
    09 2518Cpk 213
  5. 05
    Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a serving platter or shallow bowl. Off heat, stir the reserved oil-zest mixture into the onions, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the onions and sauce around the chicken and sprinkle with chives.
Tip: Don't marinate the chicken for longer than two hours; the acidity of the lime juice will soften the meat. Likewise, don't use an uncoated cast-iron pot. The lime's acidity will react with the metal, causing the sauce to taste metallic.
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Senegalese Braised Chicken with Onions and Lime (Chicken Yassa)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

1¼ hours

plus marinating

Tip

Don't marinate the chicken for longer than two hours; the acidity of the lime juice will soften the meat. Likewise, don't use an uncoated cast-iron pot. The lime's acidity will react with the metal, causing the sauce to taste metallic.

Ingredients
  • 4

    tablespoons peanut oil, divided

  • 3

    tablespoons grated lime zest, plus 6 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1

    habanero chili, seeded and minced

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    teaspoons chicken bouillon concentrate (see note)

  • 2

    pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks, trimmed

  • 3

    medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • Finely chopped fresh chives, to serve

Step 1 of 5

Marinate the chicken

3
tablespoons peanut oil
3
tablespoons grated lime zest, plus 6 tablespoons lime juice
1
habanero chili, seeded and minced
1
tablespoon kosher salt
1
teaspoon ground black pepper
2
teaspoons chicken bouillon concentrate (see note)
2
pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thighs or drumsticks, trimmed
3
medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of oil, the lime zest, habanero, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Transfer 2 teaspoons of the mixture to a small bowl and set aside. To the remaining oil-zest mixture, whisk in the lime juice, bouillon and ¼ cup water. Add the chicken and onions and toss. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate up to 2 hours, stirring once.

Step 2 of 5

Strain the marinade

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Set a colander over a large bowl and strain the onions, reserving both the marinade and the onions.

Step 3 of 5

Brown the chicken and onions

1
tablespoon peanut oil

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until barely smoking. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and pour off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Set the pot over medium heat and stir in the onions and ¼ cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 4 of 5

Cook the chicken

Stir the reserved marinade into the onions. Return the chicken, skin side up, to the pot, nestling the pieces in the sauce, then pour in any accumulated juices. Reduce to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the thickest part of the meat meets no resistance, about 25 minutes.

Step 5 of 5

Season and serve

Finely chopped fresh chives, to serve

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a serving platter or shallow bowl. Off heat, stir the reserved oil-zest mixture into the onions, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the onions and sauce around the chicken and sprinkle with chives.

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Senegalese Braised Chicken with Onions and Lime (Chicken Yassa)

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