Poulet Fafa

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Poulet Fafa is an incredibly easy and delicious recipe that you can whip up with less than 10 minutes of work while cracking wise with your chums. It takes less than 45 minutes to cook after that.
I’ll take you on a trip to Tahiti with this delicious recipe! Let’s get cooking.

What is Poulet Fafa?

It’s a typical Tahitian meal that’s usually served alongside ahima’a, or pit barbeque. The fafa chicken takes its name from fafa, a plant from there that goes into the composition of the dish. The Hawaiian version of the dish is called chicken luau.

Origin Of Poulet Fafa

It is a traditional Chicken Dish From Tahiti, French Polynesia.

How To Make Poulet Fafa

It is very easy to make. Chicken are first cut into pieces, fried in hot oil until browned, and then removed. Onion, garlic, and ginger are sautéed in the remaining oil, then the chicken pieces are added back into the dish and cooked until tender.

It is recommended to add cornstarch or arrowroot dissolved in coconut milk into the dish, as it will thicken the sauce.

If using taro leaves, make sure to follow the first step to avoid a mouth on fire. The leaves must be cooked in saltwater initially to remove irritating calcium oxalate from the leaves. Taro leaves can be difficult to find, so spinach is a perfectly respectable substitute.


  • If using frozen spinach, thaw first, then squeeze dry before adding to the simmering chicken.

How To Serve Poulet Fafa

Poulet fafa is best served with sweet potatoes and taro leaves, but since they can be difficult to find, spinach is also a suitable substitute.

Poulet Fafa Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course



  • Taro leaves (fafa), or spinach, chopped -- 1 1/2 pounds
  • Oil -- 2 or 3 tablespoons
  • Chicken thighs -- 1 1/2 pounds
  • Onions, finely chopped -- 2
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 or 4 cloves
  • Gingerroot, minced -- 1-inch piece
  • Stock or water -- 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Cornstarch or arrowroot -- 2 or 3 teaspoons
  • Coconut cream -- 1 cup



  • If using taro leaves, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the taro leaves, reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large pot.
  • Brown the chicken on all sides in the hot oil and remove to a plate.
  • Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the remaining oil until the onion is translucent.
  • Add back the chicken pieces and the stock or water, salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes. Add the taro leaves or spinach and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
  • Stir the cornstarch or arrowroot into 2 or 3 tablespoons of cold water and then stir the slurry into the simmering sauce to thicken it lightly.
  • Stir in coconut cream to finish and serve over rice.


Note: Coconut cream is the thick coconut milk that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk. Avoid shaking the can before you open it and you can skim it right off the top.
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