Chicken Yassa

Last term I saw one of my employees working on a final project that included creating a database driven website. The gist of the website was a recipe database. He is Senegalese, so he was highlighting Senegalese cuisine. The pictures looked absolutely amazing, so I asked about them, about the food, what it was like and where I could try some. He described how the staples were made, but said the only place I could try it (other than homemade) was New York. Apparently Portland had a Senegalese restaurant a few years back, but it closed up.

Looking at the pictures, it seemed very similar to some Indian curries or Ethiopian dishes so I asked and and he seemed a little annoyed at the comparison. I suppose he might be considering the distance between Senegal and Ethiopia. It would be like asking someone from Portland if an IPA here tasted like an IPA from Boston (the answer is no).

Anyway, time passed and one of my coworkers mentioned that he new my employee and that he was a great cook. I prodded him about this, so he agreed to give me some recipes to try. He explained Mafe to me (apparently it’s easy enough that I don’t need a recipe?) and gave me the recipe for Chicken Yassa. The ingredients were different enough from anything I’d tried that I was quite excited to try it. Michelle is out with friends tonight so I walked to the grocer and picked up the ingredients and made myself some Yassa. It was fairly easy, somewhat time consuming, but in the end, really quite good. I opted the for the spicy version, so I included a whole minced habanero, and beef bullion cubes, which his recipe called for. This recipe at epicurious is a little more detailed than what I worked with, but I could have used the details.

I’m really quite pleased by how well it turned out, and I’ll have to try it again sometime soon for other people.

3 thoughts on “Chicken Yassa”

  1. K and I ate at Baobob once before it closed and it’s one of the reasons I applied and didn’t get into the employer-paid trip to Senegal last year. Your food sounds good except for the beef cubes.

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