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#5577: Recipe: Belgium Waterzooi (Gentse Waterzooi) and homemade chicken broth

Posted by: Olga_D_Ont at 4:17 pm on Feb 2, 2007

BELGIUM WATERZOOI (Gentse Waterzooi)

The very pleasant city of Ghent, at the confluence of the Schedlt and Lys rivers, is the historic capital of Flanders in northern Belgium. It is also the home of the most famous of Flemish stews, Gentse waterzooi or waterzooi gantois among the Francophones, a rich chicken stew made with vegetables and eggs and cooked in beer or a rich chicken stock. Waterzooi can be made with chicken, rabbit, or fish. The parsley root is an important part of waterzooi, so do make an effort to get it. Waterzooi is very nice served with boiled potatoes or toasted French bread with some butter.

1 (3 1/2 pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 medium size onions, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 leeks (white and light green part only), slit lengthwise, washed well, and finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
4 parsley roots (3 to 4 pound total), peeled and cut into sixths
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups rich chicken broth (homemade)
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Juice from 1/2 lemon

Rub the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Butter the bottom of a large, heavy casserole with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Layer it with the onions, shallots, leeks, celery, carrots, and parsley roots. Lay the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. Pour the wine and chicken broth over everything, season with salt and pepper, and bring to just below a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer very gently, without letting the broth come to a boil, until the meat on the chicken nearly falls off, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and set aside or bone it, if you desire. Continue to simmer the remaining ingredients until the parsley roots are soft, another 30 minutes.

In a medium size bowl, beat together the egg yolks, heavy cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and a few tablespoons of the broth from the casserole. Remove the parsley roots and pass them through a food mill or mash them. Stir them into the egg mixture. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the stew, whisking all the time so the eggs donít curdle. Add the parsley and lemon juice and stir. Ladle the broth over the chicken pieces and serve immediately. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Real Stew

CHICKEN BROTH:

This is a nice homemade broth that can be used for recipes calling for chicken broth. For duck broth, replace the chicken bones and meat with a duck carcass and for rabbit broth, replace with rabbit bones. For recipes calling for a rich chicken broth, first roast the chicken bones in a 425 F. oven until golden before proceeding with the recipe.

8 pounds chicken bones, with meat
2 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, with leaves, sliced
1 large onion, halved and separated into layers
1 leek, washed well and cut up
10 black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni, consisting of 6 springs each fresh parsley, thyme, and marjoram, 2 springs fresh sage, and 1 bay leaf, tied in cheesecloth
2 cups dry white wine
5 quarts cold water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and skim off the foam from the surface until no more appears. Partially cover the pot and simmer over very low heat for at least 6 hours.

Pour the broth through a strainer (a chinois, or conical strainer, would be ideal) and discard all the bones, vegetables, and bouquet garni. Now line the strainer with cheesecloth and pour the broth through again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the broth in the refrigerator until the fat congeals and remove. The broth can kept, refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 6 months. Makes 3 to 4 quarts.