Citizens, there are many recipes that I can confidently say are deserved classics.
This is one of them!
Waterzooi is a stew dish from Belgium and originating in Flanders. The second part of the name derives from the Middle Dutch terms “sode”, “zo(o)de” and “soot”, words referring to the act of boiling or the ingredients being boiled. It is sometimes called Gentse Waterzooi which refers to the Belgian town of Ghent where it originated.
The original dish is often made of fish, either freshwater or sea, (known as Viszooitje), though today chicken waterzooi (Kippenwaterzooi) is more common. The most accepted theory is that rivers around Ghent became too polluted and the fish there disappeared.
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor ate the rich dish, even after suffering from gout.
All versions are based on a soup-base of egg yolk, cream and thickened vegetable broth. The stew itself contains fish or chicken, vegetables including carrots, onions, celeriac, leeks, potatoes and herbs such as parsley, thyme, bay-leaves and sage.
Originally, burbot was used but this fish had all but disappeared from the rivers until its recent return due to conservation efforts. Nowadays, fish such as eel, pike, carp and bass are used, though other fish such as cod, monkfish, or halibut can be used. Gentse Waterzooi van Tarbot includes turbot.
Chicken is a popular alternative to fish in the recipe, though the rest of the ingredients remain the same.
Citizens, I’ve made several tweaks to the classic recipe from Julia Child – I’ve added in a hint of thyme liqueur, specify purple carrots, and added in some borage and celery leaves.
I hope you enjoy this rich and delicious recipe!
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Belgian Chicken Waterzooi
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 2 large purple carrots (if unavailable, use regular orange carrots)
- 2 medium onions
- 2 tender ribs of celery, with leaves
- 2 medium-sized leeks, white and tender green parts only
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh borage or ideally, use several whole borage flowers (optional)
- Several sprigs of soft fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- 2 1/2 pounds cut-up frying chicken, legs or thighs or breasts (with bone), or a mixture of these
- 1 1/4 cups dry white French vermouth
- 1/4 cup Farigoule Thyme liqueur (optional – if not using, replace with equal amount of vermouth for the classic version)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 6 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Trim and wash the vegetables and cut them into julienne matchsticks one and three-quarters inches long and one-eighth inch wide. (This should come to about five cups in all.) Toss them in a large mixing bowl with the tarragon, borage, chopped celery leaves and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
- Wash and dry the chicken pieces and set aside.
- Using a casserole large enough to hold the chicken and the vegetables comfortably, layer in the following order: one-third of the vegetables, half of the chicken, the thyme sprigs, half of the remaining vegetables, the rest of the chicken and the remaining vegetables.
- Pour in the vermouth and thyme liqueur and enough chicken broth to barely cover the chicken.
- Up to this point, the recipe may be prepared several hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate.
- When ready to cook, bring to the simmer, covered, and cook slowly 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken pieces are tender and, when pierced, the juices run clear.
- Strain out the cooking liquid, degrease it and adjust the seasonings.
- Blend the cream and cornstarch in a small mixing bowl. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl and stir in the cream mixture. Slowly whisk in the hot cooking liquid.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken. Set over medium-low heat, swirling the casserole gently, until the sauce is warmed and thickens slightly, but do not bring to the simmer or the egg yolks will curdle.
- To serve, ladle the chicken, vegetables and sauce into large warm soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with parsley.
- Serve with boiled potatoes, noodles, gnocchi or just good French bread.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Calories: 977.79 kcal
- Sugar: 8.97 g
- Sodium: 1570.5 mg
- Fat: 65.09 g
- Saturated Fat: 22.02 g
- Trans Fat: 0.24 g
- Carbohydrates: 25.11 g
- Fiber: 3.39 g
- Protein: 55.31 g
- Cholesterol: 540.9 mg
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