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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Belgium Chicken Stew - Waterzooi

When Dave and I traveled to Belgium last spring, I had the very good fortune to sample Waterzooi (Vater- zoo ee) for the first time.  The broth was incredible, the chicken -- tender and amazing!  Naturally, I had to try and make it once we got home.  Here is Julia Child's recipe.  Not difficult - so satisfying on these cool spring nights.  Enjoy with a wonder Belgium white or a nice glass of Chardonney.  Bon Appetite!


3 large carrots

1 large leek (white and tender green part only)

1 medium sized onion

4 celery ribs/sticks

1 tsp dried tarragon

Butter (2 Tbsp)

1/2 tsp salt

1 lb.chicken breasts/thighs

1 cup extra dry vermouth

1 cup light chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream

2 large egg yolks

2 tsp cornstarch

salt and freshly ground black pepper

a large handful of finely chopped fresh parsley

Trim and wash the vegetables. Cut carrots, leek and celery ribs into 2-inch julienne matchsticks. Peel and halve the onion, then cut into thin slices.
Heat the butter in a heavy Dutch oven, add the vegetables, half a teaspoonful of salt and dried tarragon. Saut√© for about 5 minutes, without browning! Add the chicken over the vegetables.
Pour over the vermouth and chicken  broth, so the chicken and vegetables are just covered (you may need a bit more broth). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and chicken cooked through.
Strain the cooking liquid into a bowl. Whisk egg yolks, cream and cornstarch until combined, then add the hot cooking liquid, spoonful at the time in the beginning ('to temper' the egg yolk mixture). Pour the sauce back into the Dutch oven over the chicken and vegetables, stir in most of the parsley and heat until the first bubbles appear. Remove immediately (overheating will cause the egg yolks to curdle).

Divide into hot soup bowls and serve with boiled new potatoes, gnocchi, noodles and good French bread.

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