Recently, the communities of Mbossedji built their first poultry shed, completing the next step towards developing self-sufficiency. Through training and assistance from CREATE!’s technicians, cooperative members can pursue their shared economic ambitions.
Women are learning how to care for the chickens as they grow and then sell the grown chickens in the weekly market and in other nearby communities. Women will also be able to supplement the diets of their families with the chicken that they raise themselves. “We used to eat chicken very rarely because it was expensive. We recently built a poultry shed in the village site and we are in the first production,” says Ndeye Diop, Cooperative Garden President in Mbossedji. “It is a pleasure for all of the community to start poultry production in the village because we didn’t have easy access to chicken.”
Mbossedji is in an extremely hot region of Senegal. However, with the right conditions and care, this project is highly successful. Windows create natural ventilation in the sheds, and people often string together old feedbacks to use as window shades during the hot hours of the day. At night, women place battery-powered lights in the poultry shed. Darkness is stressful for chickens, so illumination at night ensures that chickens remain healthy and calm. The women use a small solar panel to charge the lights’ battery pack during the day so that the lights can stay on throughout the long equatorial night.
Pursuing Economic Ambitions
Poultry is highly profitable to sell in the markets. Combined with selling vegetables from their community gardens, women in Mbossedji will be generating a steady income from their villages! A reliable income means being able to afford to send your children to school, purchase clothes and supplies, pay for transportation, buy enough groceries, and more. As part of the development projects, CREATE!‘s technicians will assist women in starting their own VSLA (Voluntary Savings & Lending Associations) in Mbossedji. This way, women will not only be saving the income they’re earning but also be able to take out loans for household needs.
A Traditional Senegalese Recipe:
We are excited that Mbossedji and many more of our partner villages are running successful poultry sheds from their communities! We would like to see this prosperity spread across villages in rural Senegal. In celebration of the success of our partners, we’d like to share a traditional Senegalese chicken recipe with you from Panning the Globe. Bon appetit!
Senegalese Chicken Yassa
Author: Panning the Globe (https://www.panningtheglobe.com/senegalese-chicken-yassa/)
Total Time: 2 hours
• 3 chicken leg quarters (leg and thigh)
• 3 chicken breast halves (bone-in)
• 5 onions (about 2 pounds) peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
• 1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper
• 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup canola oil or olive oil
• 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
• 4 medium garlic cloves, crushed
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• For Browning and Braising the Chicken
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon cooking oil (olive, canola, or grape seed)
• 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth (I recommend Swanson’s)
• Garnish 1 cup pitted green olives, sliced
1. Marinate the Chicken: Put the chicken and onions into a large glass bowl. Cut a few slits in the habanero pepper and add it to the bowl. Whisk marinade ingredients in a small bowl and pour on top. Toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or, preferably, overnight.
2. Brown the Chicken: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Remove the chicken from the marinade and sprinkle pieces with a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper, to taste. Brown chicken on both sides in batches, three pieces at a time, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Spoon out some of the chicken fat from the pot, leaving about one tablespoon.
3. Caramelize the Onions: Set the hot pepper aside and scrape the onions and all the marinade into the pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes to get the onions hot and cooking. Cover the pot and turn the heat to medium-low. Let the onions cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes more, until they are soft and starting to caramelize. Regulate the heat so they don’t burn.
4. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to move onions aside, as you lay chicken pieces into the bottom of the pot, and then mound the onions on top of the chicken pieces. Place the hot pepper in the middle of the pot. Pour in chicken broth. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the broth to a simmer. Cover the pot and put it in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
5. Serve with fluffy white rice and sliced green olives.