Gentse Waterzooi of Chicken with Vegetables

Supper's facilitator Veronique Cardon shares her mother's recipe, originating from the beautiful city of Ghent, in the Flanders’ region of Belgium. Waterzooi derives from the Flemish term “zooien” which means “to boil.” It is hearty but still light, especially if you skip the optional creamy sauce. It is a perfect dish for entertaining, as it can be prepared in advance.

Ingredients

8
chicken (skinless breasts, drumsticks and thighs)
8 cups
chicken broth (low or no salt)
2 cups
water
3
celery stalks (leaves removed, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch stalks)
4
large carrots (peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds)
3
leeks (only the white and very pale green parts, rinsed well and cut into 1 1/2 inch rounds)
4
medium potatoes (peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes)
1
large onion (minced)
4
shallots (minced)
1
parsley
1
fresh thyme
2
bay leaves
 
salt (to taste)
 
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons
butter
2 tablespoons
olive oil
3
egg yolks (optional, for the creamy version)
1 cup
heavy cream (optional, for the creamy version)
2
lemons (juiced, optional, for the creamy version)
Yields:
Servings

Additional Notes

 Serve in soup dishes. Can be frozen in single portions.

Instructions

In a large pan, cook the minced onion and shallots in oil and butter over medium heat. When golden, add the chicken pieces and brown lightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken broth, parsley, fresh thyme and bay leaves. Simmer on medium heat for one hour. After 30 minutes, add the carrots and celery, and after 45minutes, add the potatoes and leeks. Serve the dish as is, or prepare and add the creamy sauce to the hot stock after everything is cooked.Optional creamy sauce (adds a velvety, tart taste to the soup): The creamy sauce must be carefully prepared so the egg yolks don't curdle when mixed with the hot stock. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks with the cream and, slowly, spoon by spoon, add 1 cup of hot stock to the egg yolk mixture. Then, again slowly, spoon by spoon, add the lemon juice. Now the creamy mixture can be added to the entire soup or offered on the side for individual bowls.

Dietary Preferences: