Yassa Poulet (Grilled Chicken in Caramelized Onion Sauce)
This classic Senegalese dish utilizes the marinade by cooking it down into a sweet-tart sauce for the grilled chicken. This recipe first appeared in our May 2012 issue along with John O’Connor’s story A Feast For All.
- 1⁄3 cup cider vinegar
- 1⁄3 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 tbsp. lime zest
- 2 tsp. coarsely cracked black peppercorns, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 tsp. whole allspice
- 2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 2 tbsp. peanut or canola oil, plus more for brushing
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Combine vinegar, juice, ginger, zest, pepper, cayenne, garlic, onions, chile, bay leaf, and salt in a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken and seal bag. Refrigerate, tossing chicken with marinade occasionally, for at least 4 hours.
- Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade, and working in batches, add to pot and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add allspice to pot, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour marinade through a fine strainer, reserving liquid, and transfer solids to pot; cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add reserved liquid and chicken, and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Continue cooking onions until liquid evaporates and onions are lightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and pour onions over chicken; serve with rice.