Yassa is a popular dish of poultry or fish originating in West Africa. This recipe features the super grain fonio. Our Yassa Fonio is formulated to replicate the spicy, savory flavors of the Casamance region with ginger, chiles and lemon. We pair Yassa Fonio with a simple Harissa Spice Blend seasoned roasted chicken.

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 90 min

Total time: 105 min

Roast Chicken with Fonio Yassa
Copyright Recipe © 2014 Woodland Foods


4 - 6

  • 1 Whole Roasting Chicken

  • 2 Cups Senegalese Fonio Pilaf

  • 2 1/2 Cups Water Or Broth

  • 1/4 Cup Harissa Spice Blend

  • 2 Carrots, large

  • 2 Parsnips

  • 1 Yellow Onion

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper


  1. Heat an oven to 375F

  2. Peel the vegetables and chop all into bite sized pieces. Add to a large bowl and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Pile the vegetables onto a slotted baking tray to create a mound. Set this aside.

  3. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub harissa all over the bird and some inside as well. Truss the legs and wings against the body with kitchen twine if desired.

  4. Place the whole bird on top of the vegetable mound. Roast in the oven for 70-90 minutes or when a thermometer reads 165° F in the thickest part of the thigh.

  5. Remove the chicken to rest while preparing the fonio. Combine 2 1/2 cups of water or broth with 2 cups of fonio in a microwaveable serving bowl. Stir this mixture with a fork to ensure nothing has settled and clung to the bottom of the bowl. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 4 1/2 minutes. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and carefully remove the plastic wrap. Use the tines of a fork to fluff the fonio by scraping it into the center from the edges of the bowl. Work towards the bottom until the fonio is separated and fluffy.

  6. Serve immediately with roasted chicken and vegetables.