Poulet DG by Alexandre Bella Ola

DG chicken makes its appearance in town, first in the “construction sites”.

According to Alexandre Bella Ola, a Cameroonian restaurateur based in Paris, African men do not have cooking as a profession, although he embraced this career once he arrived in France. How did he stage this African cuisine, while he was an actor ?

“The difficulty I found when I opened my first Rio Dos Camaraos restaurant was to come back to my basic profession, actor. I thought it was going to be easy. I hired a cook who knew how to make dishes from Central Africa and a cooker who knew how to make dishes from West Africa but I couldn’t find a single person to cook all the dishes. I thought it would work economically, but it did not (it wasn’t the case).

During the first three months, people were satisfied with this new food proposal in their work area and the restaurant was full every lunchtime. Then some people said to me : “Listen Alexandre, we won’t come every day to eat the same thing. We come in six or eight and in the band, there is sometimes one who wants to eat a steak and fries“. Although my food was not very varied, I refused to put a steak and fries on the menu because I only wanted to offer African food. Attendance soon declined.

At least I introduced some of the traditional French cuisine : we could find a steak with fried potatoes. But my two African cooks costed me so much that I started cooking. I replaced them both and hired a French cook. We set off again in force, we were doing very good French cuisine and I was starting to develop a reflection on African cuisine. Today, I no longer have a French cook because I managed to offer African cuisine which compensates for a certain lack of traditional French cuisine. For example, I propose a duck breast with saka-saka sauce and vegetable attiéké. I prepare it in the French way, the duck is pink and not cooked in the sauce – it can even be set aside.

So I came to a mixed cuisine that meets the expectations of a mixed audience. If we offer something authentic African, people will have no reference. And a pink duck breast in Africa, it wouldn’t pass either. My inspiration is purely African but there is an adaptation. ”

The recipe that Alexander presents to us today also speaks of interbreeding.

A little look back in the 1980s in Cameroon: DG chicken arrived in the city, first in the “ construction sites“, improvised homestay restaurants. Composed especially of vegetables from elsewhere, businessmen were particularly fond of them because they could eat them quickly. Hence its name Poulet DG which takes the acronym PDG of « Président-Directeur Général ».

Today, it’s a reference dish in Cameroon. And if you go through Paris, take the opportunity to taste its recipe!

Recipe

SERVINGS

6

TIME

1 hour

ORIGIN

Cameroun

Ingredients

6 chicken thighs
4 yellow plantains
25 cl of sunflower oil
3 carrots
1 leek
1 half red pepper
1 half yellow pepper
2 tablespoons of curry
2 cubes of cooking broth spice-onion
salt and pepper

For the sauce

30 djansan seeds
1 onion
4 sprigs of parsley
3 cloves of garlic
20 g ginger
4 pepe seeds

Cooking directions

  1. Peel the onions, garlic and ginger. Coarsely chop them with parsley. Add the djansan and grandpa seeds.
  2. Mix everything until the whole is homogeneous. Add 25 cl of water and mix.
  3. Peel the carrots, cut them into 1 cm thick slices, as well as the leek. Cut the peppers into small squares.
  4. Cut the end of the palntains. Cut the skin lengthwise before peeling it. Cut them into 1 cm thick slices then fry them.
  5. Cut the chicken legs in three and brown them in hot oil in a casserole dish. At the end of cooking, remove all the oil.Keep aside.
  6. In the casserole dish, pour 1 half liter of water, add all the preparations, except the plantains.
  7. Sprinkle with curry and crumbled broth cubes. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  8. After 10 min, add the plantains. If necessayry adjust the seasoning. Simmer for 15 min over medium heat.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy!
Poulet DG