Margarita's International Recipes


Poulet Nyembwe

Chicken in Palm Nut Sauce

Poulet Nyembwe is the national dish of Gabon. Basically, it's chicken cooked in a sauce made from oil palm nuts. I can't say I'm particularly impressed. While the chicken was tender, the sauce wasn't very flavorful and what little flavor I could distinguish wasn't that pleasant. Perhaps for that reason, peanut stews are more popular in much of West Africa.

You can make the sauce yourself by tracking down fresh palmnuts, boiling them and mashing them, but it's much easier to just get a can of palmnut sauce. This comes under several names, palm butter, moambé sauce, Palmnut Cream Concentrate, Palm Nut Concentrate, Sauce Graine and Noix de Palme. Don't confuse it with palm oil, however, which is a refined product from the same plant. You can find it wherever African products are sold.

In addition to the ingredients below, you can spice up the dish by adding some okra or some chili peppers. Serve with rice.

Chicken in Palm Nut Sauce


  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 4 lbs chicken parts
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 can palm nut sauce
  • 1 cup water


Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a wide pot. Add the chicken, onion, tomato and garlic and brown on all sides. Season with salt & pepper. Add the palm nut sauce and the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for one hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with rice.

Adapted from several recipes.

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