It is almost father’s day here in the U.S., and as a daddy’s girl that loves to cook, I try to make a variety of dishes that I know my dad would love. Recently, I have started to include some of my husband’s favorite dishes in my father’s day spread, and he has slightly different food preferences from my dad. This year, one of the dishes on my father’s day spread is this delicious Cameroonian dish called Poulet DG. I decided to share this recipe as it combines favorites of my dad and husband in one dish, and I knew they will both enjoy it.
Poulet DG is a chicken and plantain dish that is usually served on special occasions in Cameroon. My dear Cameroonian friend Joyce taught me this recipe. According to Joyce, Poulet DG translates directly to mean “Chicken for the Director General”, so once she told me what Poulet DG meant, the father’s day bell rang in my mind.
My Poulet DG recipe has fried plantains, carrots, and chucks of chicken cooked in a flavorful and delicious sauce. According to Joyce, the secret to having great Poulet DG is to have the fried plantains be firm and not too mushy, and stewed enough so that it is not obvious that it has just been fried. If this sounds intimidating, it really is not. This recipe is pretty similar in many ways to the Nigerian recipe called gizdodo, and just as easy to make.
This first time I tried to make Poulet DG I must confess it was not great. It did not have enough sauce, my chicken pieces were way too big, I used over ripe plantains, and I used parsley (who would ever think using parsley be a fail?). I am starting to notice that I am not a huge fan of parsley, so when I taste it in a dish, it turns me off. Therefore, after my first attempt at making Poulet DG failed, I grabbed my friend Joyce after church service one Sunday, and made her tell me all she knew about this dish and how to perfect it.
Thankfully, the first thing she did was to liberate me from using parsley. According to her, even though parsley is traditionally used in this recipe, I was free to substitute it with cilantro (so feel free to use parsley instead of cilantro if you do not like cilantro).
This recipe also uses small chicken chunks instead of large pieces of chicken, and uses unripe and ripe plantains. Be careful not to use very ripe plantains or over ripe plantains; you will know plantains are over ripe when they start to get black.
Cameroun Poulet DG: Chicken for Director General
- The Chicken Marinade
- 2 heaping cups of cilantro
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 scotch bonnet habanero pepper
- 3 shallots or half of a red onion
- A thumb size nub of ginger
- 1 tsp chicken bullion
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white pepper.
- Other Ingredients
- 1 ½ lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 3 unripe plantains
- 1 ripe plantain
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 carrots cut in to coins
- ½ green bell pepper cut into strips
- ½ yellow bell pepper cut into strips
- ½ orange bell pepper cut into strips
- 8 Roma tomatoes
- 1 onion
- Salt to taste
- Start by prepping the marinade for the chicken by blending the cilantro, celery, scotch bonnet/ habanero pepper, shallots, ginger, bullion, salt and white pepper.
- Marinade the chicken in half of the marinade for at least 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinading, peel and cut the plantains 1 cm thick rounds (resembling coins), and fry until golden brown on both sides. Be careful not to over fry the unripe plantains trying to match their color with the ripe plantains. Unripe plantains are usually darker when fried as they have more sugar.
- Broil the chicken pieces in under a hot broiler until it is golden brown. There is no need to flip the pieces since they are small.
- Blend the tomatoes and set aside.
- In a pot, saute the onions on medium heat for 5 minutes until they become translucent. After 5 minutes, add in the blended tomatoes, and turn the heat up to high.
- Cook the tomatoes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning till the tomatoes have reduced and become thick.
- Add in the other half of the marinade saved from earlier and continue to cook the sauce down on low-medium heat for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the carrots, cook for 5 minutes then add in the plantain, chicken and bell peppers cook for another 5 minutes, then it is ready!
Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe! Oh and feel free to check out my Kenyan Chicken Pilaf: Easy Chicken Pilau recipe for some more African chicken goodness!