An explosion of flavours with Yassa! + A Teasing Video!

A fabulous one pot recipe for you to tuck into!☀️

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Gosh! I have missed you all so much, but January has been a month swamped with so much to get done! I haven’t even sent out my happy new year newsletter and recipes we worked on since November to start the new year. Can you imagine that? But this dish which I fall in love with time and time again is just so tempting I had to share it with you all, right now! Yassa is one of the most popular recipes at our feasts and cookery classes, and I just taught it to a wonderful group at our first private cookery class of the year. I am also testing a new addition as Substack has kindly added this new beta-tested video feature to my newsletter. (Surely you haven’t missed that video up top!) I hope to share more videos and audio with you this year. Let me know what you think and what you would like to see.

Although this recipe is meant for private classes and paid members, I would love you all to try it and transport yourselves to the beautiful coast of Senegal. I will keep it open here for a few days until it will become only available to paid members. If you haven’t subscribed, click the link below and as a paid member you can also enjoy more upcoming exclusive recipes and free cookery classes. (See more below for upcoming class)


Poulet Yassa…pure sunshine on your plate!

This one pot of slow-cooked onions, chillies, citrus and mustard is pure sunshine on your plate. Warming with the sweet peppers and chillies, zesty and vibrant with the citrus and with the punchy Dijon mustard, all married beautifully and transformed to create an explosion of flavours. I fall in love with this dish every time and every time I teach the recipe, all that satisfying Mmm-ing and Ahhh-ing from everyone greedily tucking into their bowls is the most wonderful sound! I relish it, leaving you happily fed, inspired with a great taste of Africa.

After sharing the traditions of cooking a particular recipe, I love to ask my cooks to raid their fridges for leftovers, and on this occasion, I suggested carrots, mushrooms, herbs and we all cooked this glorious Senegalese dish with wonderful and colourful additions. We cooked a variation with chicken, those meaty (& expensive) king oyster mushrooms, aubergines, courgettes, cauliflower, fish... I had some lovely sweet carrots thrown into mine, with sweet and warming Romano peppers which I adore. Any excuse to add more veggies and colour to my food! I hope you enjoy my recipe and if you have any comments, tips or questions please share. As always I am here to help you make this recipe a roaring success, bringing the taste of Africa to your kitchen.


Yassa

Traditionally known as Yassa au Poulet, and also enjoyed with fish especially in the coastal regions, this sweet, spicy and tangy stew is a favourite of the Senegalese people. Firecrackers (my pet name for those who like it HOT) will enjoy the heat and sweetness of the scotch bonnet pepper which you can either mince or slit and throw in whole for less firey heat. Birdseye chillies or Thai chillies are also great alternatives. This recipe is very adaptable so that you can make the best of what you have. More Yassa recipes with specific ingredients to come.

Cooking Time: 45 - 60 minutes

Feeds 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil or any oil of your choice

  • 2 onions, sliced into thin half-moons

  • 3 garlic cloves, grated

  • 1 red pepper, sliced (Romano or red bell)

  • 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp of Dijon mustard

  • 1 medium-large lemon, zest and juice

  • 300ml chicken/vegetable stock or a cube mixed in warm water

  • 4 fresh thyme stalks or 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 1 scotch bonnet (hot) slit and thrown in, or chilli (medium heat) thrown in or finely minced or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chilli or cayenne powder

  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • Sea salt (depending on the salt level of your stock)

  • A handful of black olives pitted and halved (optional)

  • 1 large Aubergine, cut into medium chunks or circles

  • 300 - 500g Chicken, optional

  • Optional veggies; carrots, mushrooms, spinach, courgette

    To serve: A small handful of coriander or parsley - finely chopped.

    Serve with rice, couscous, heritage grains such as fonio (more to come on this), mashed potatoes or roasted veggies alongside green beans or your favourite salad.

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt to the saucepan, cover with a lid and sweat on medium heat for up to 10 minutes or until softened. Then take off the lid and continue to cook until caramelised. Keep a close eye on the onions and stir frequently. You can also add a tablespoon of water to stop onions from burning. This can take between 20 - 30 minutes.

2. Once onions are wonderful and caramelised, add the garlic, chilli, pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes or until softened. Add the remaining oil if the saucepan is too dry.

3. Next add dijon mustard with lemon juice and zest. Pour in 300 ml of water (use a little less water if cooking softer vegetables), and add your fresh or dried thyme.

4. Finally add your protein or vegetables like chopped aubergines, cauliflower, or potatoes, if using. Stir well and leave to cook on medium heat, covered for 15 - 25 minutes depending on what you have chosen to add to your sauce. Make sure to cook chicken until well done.

5. Cook uncovered for the final five or ten minutes to thicken the sauce a little. Adjust cooking time to suit your protein or vegetables. If cooking meat, once done, taste and season to perfection if more salt is needed. If your sauce is too tart for your liking, add 1/2 - 1 tsp of honey or agave for a balance of flavours.

6. Serve with fresh herbs such as chopped coriander or parsley scattered over, and your favourite sides as suggested above.

Cook's tip: If cooking with chicken, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a sauté or frying pan and brown the chicken on both sides, or brush with oil and grill for 7 minutes on each side before finishing in the sauce. Cook for a further 20 minutes until well done. If cooking vegetables, adjust your cooking time accordingly. Raid your fridge for leftover carrots, peppers, mushrooms and herbs for more deliciousness, to increase your veg intake and to reduce waste.


UPCOMING COOKERY CLASSES

Jollof Masterclass - 5th February 2022 - BOOKING NOW!

Learn to perfect the art of cooking this iconic West African dish with a wonderful side of spice roasted plantains + a fridge raid!

(Free for paid members - choose the paid member option in the drop-down tab to book your place)

BOOK HERE

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