Monday, April 14, 2008

Poulet DG (Poulet Directeur Général)

At the risk of generalizing, it seems that Africans possess a talent for finding just the right nickname for a thing. This fricassee of chicken, vegetables, and savory spices is called Poulet DG, pronounced the French way, "day-zjay", bien sûr! Poulet DG, a favorite restaurant dish among the movers and shakers (les grands types) of Cameroon, is Poulet Directeur Général: poulet (chicken) for le Directeur Général (the big boss). Bon appétit.

  • one chicken, cut into serving-sized
  • one-quarter cup oil
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • one Maggi® cube and/or a one-inch piece of fresh ginger root (peeled and minced) or a teaspoon of powdered ginger and/or fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, celery leaf, etc.)
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • two carrots, chopped
  • haricots verts or thin French green beans, ends trimmed (optional)
  • two or three sweet peppers (bell peppers): green, yellow, orange, or red, cleaned and chopped (optional)
  • two tomatoes, chopped or canned tomatoes (optional)
  • one onion, chopped
  • If desired: Combine chicken, a tablespoon of oil, spices, carrots, green beans, and peppers in a bowl. (It's better to have most of the "optional" ingredients; carrots and bell peppers are the most common, tomatoes the least common.) Stir well. Let marinate for one to three hours.
  • Heat remaining oil in a very large skillet or dutch oven. Add onions and fry briefly, until they begin to become translucent. Add chicken and fry over high heat until lightly browned.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except tomatoes which should be saved for last. Reduce heat. Do not cover.
  • Simmer, stirring regularly, until chicken is done and liquid partly evaporated, leaving some sauce. (Add warm water by the tablespoon if the pot becomes dry before the chicken is done.) Add tomatoes (if desired), and simmer for a few minutes more.
  • Serve with Rice, Miondo (Cameroon's version of Baton de Manioc & Chikwangue), and Fried Plantains.

The Poulet DG can be mixed with the fried plantains immediately before serving.

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