Lemon Chicken (Yassa Poulet)

Serves     8-10

The method for preparing Yassa is to first pre-cook the chicken and then to finish it in the sauce. Grilling is traditional, but you can use whatever works for your cooking circumstances. Broiling or browning on top of the stove will do the trick.
1/3 cup oil
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup cider vinegar
2 large onions, about 2 pounds, thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. red chile flakes
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced lengthwise in quarters
handful fresh thyme sprigs
2 large bay leaves, crumbled
1 4-pound chicken, cut into several pieces, or the equivalent weight of chicken parts
½ cup chicken stock


Add all the ingredients to a very large bowl, except chicken stock, and marinate overnight.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and brown the pieces in a hot pan, turning, until almost halfway done. Set the chicken aside on a platter and leave any remaining oil in the pan.

Drain the onions from the marinade (save the marinade) and sauté in the same pan you cooked the chicken, making sure to scrape up all the delicious brown bits in the bottom of the pan. When the onions have softened considerably add the chicken pieces back into the pan, nestling them in among the onions. Add the chicken stock and the remaining marinade, and simmer, slightly covered, until the chicken is done, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how big the pieces are and how done they were to begin with. An instant read thermometer should read 160 degrees.

Remove the chicken to a platter, and simmer the onions a bit longer if it looks too soupy. Now would be a good time to pick out any bay leaves and thyme sprigs from the onions while you stir them. Serve the sauce on the side, or pour over the chicken and accompany with steamed white rice.


Notes and Instructions

Recipe source and photo credit: Linda McElroy