Poulet DG

To anyone who has asked me for Cameroonian recipes and everyone else, today I have a very special Cameroonian recipe for you all! When I moved to the U.S., there were a lot of Cameroonian dishes that I just kind of gave up on trying because I didn’t know where I would find the ingredients. Poulet DG is one of those few Cameroonian recipes that you can find everything you need at almost any common grocery store. So if you want to eat like a Cameroonian without having to look for an African grocery store, try this recipe.

Poulet DG is short for Poulet Directeur Général which translates to Chicken Director General. It is a one pot meal made up of fried plantains, chicken, vegetables and delicious spices. Back home it was one of those special occasion dishes because traditionally it used a whole chicken. I believe it actually has its name because it was often served to entertain people of high status or they were some of the few ones who could afford to order a meal with a whole chicken for just themselves.

Nowadays this dish is not as unique to special occasions but it is still as special. You can use a whole chicken or get the cuts you prefer. I like to use the thighs and drumsticks. The plantains and chicken are often both deep fried but I like to either shallow fry the chicken or bake them in the oven. I’ve seen some people use unripe plantains to make Poulet DG before and to that I say why? I prefer ripe plantains, not overripe but still yellow and sweet. Like a lot of my recipes, quantities are flexible so don’t worry about having exact measurements of any of the ingredients below. Ok let’s move on to the recipe.

Poulet DG

Ingredients
  • 4 large ripe plantains, sliced (they should be yellow, not too soft nor too hard)
  • 1 whole chicken or 4 chicken quarters, chopped into chunks (about 4 to 5 pounds)
  • Oil for deep frying plantains plus 1/4 cup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch ginger root, minced
  • 6 to 8 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups green beans, chopped
  • 2 bell pepper, preferably a mixture of colors, chopped
  • 3 stems of green onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (can substitute with black pepper)
  • 4 small bouillon cubes (Maggi)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 scotch bonnet (habenero) pepper (optional, crushed or blended for extra heat)
Method
Pour enough oil for deep frying in a pan and heat it up on medium. To check if oil is hot, you can drop a slice of plantain in the oil and if it begins to fry then it is ready. Fry the plantain until golden to slightly dark brown. Place in a strainer and set aside.
Season chicken generously with salt and pepper and set aside. You can also season with garlic and ginger and marinade overnight or for a few hours in the fridge. In a large pan, heat up 1/4 cup oil. Fry the chicken in batches in oil, flipping the pieces around to make sure they brown evenly. You can also deep fry chicken until golden brown in the same oil you used for the plantains or bake them at 350F in the oven until golden brown. When golden brown and almost completely cooked, take the chicken out and set aside in a strainer.
Add onions to the pot on the heat and let them cook until translucent and soft. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add tomatoes and let them cook until they aren’t sour anymore. Add carrots and green beans then bell peppers, green onions and whole scotch bonnet pepper. Season with bouillon cubes and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken, stir and cook covered for another 5 to 10 minutes. At this point you can add the parsley, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add the fried plantains. Stir gently to avoid breaking the plantains. Cook for another 5 minutes then turn the heat off. Serve warm and enjoy!

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