Week Four, Day One

Himself was in charge of dinner last night. We decided that Saturday was to be “His” day, as Sunday is spent creating his story for the three, ex- Mexican grandchildren. He loves telling them bedtime stories and when they come to stay that is the highlight for him at least of the day. And I do think they also enjoy it.

So now we are all in Lockdown, they send in their characters in advance, so this week, we have a princess, a cat which is a psychiatrist and a giant whose head smokes when he thinks too hard!

We also have on Sunday, the neighbourhood cocktail party , and this week, we were a group of six apartments, each of us on our respective terraces.

And so back to his dinner for Saturday. He actually woke up and declared that he wanted to make Waterzooi.

What on earth is that I hear you ask, well it is one of the traditional dishes of Belgium, a country where we lived for thirteen years. It originated apparently in Ghent, which is in Flanders, the Flemish speaking part of Belgium. ( As an aside, did you know that Belgium, which is a very small country, has 3 official languages, French, in the south, Flemish in the north and German in the east. , with very strict divisions and Bruxelles, the capital is where all three are acceptable. And of course everyone speaks excellent English as well.)

Waterzooi ( ˈʋaːtərˌzoːi̯ )can be made with fish/ seafood or chicken and all versions are based on a soup-base mixture of egg yolk, cream and thickened vegetable broth.

Turbot was the original fish of choice, but nowadays any firm fish along with shrimp are used in the fish version but one is just as likely to find on a menu one made with chicken.

Himself made the chicken version.

  1. Any of the following, all finely sliced, 1 celery stalk, 1carrot, 1 onion, 1 leek we also added some courgette and some asparagus tips, not traditional but we had them to hand.
  2. 200 mls vegetable stock, a stock cube or powder will do,
  3. 1egg yolk
  4. +/-500gms chicken breast ( traditionally a whole chicken would be used and then cut into bits )
  5. 300 mls cream, single, double whatever takes your fancy
  6. 300 mls white wine ( or left over bubbles)
  7. 2 oz butter
  8. 2 oz or 2 heaped tablespoons Cornstarch for thickening
  9. 2 cloves garlic smushed
  10. Watercress/ rocket to garnish
  11. Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and cook for about 10 mins in the stock. Remove and put to one side, cook the vegetables, and garlic also in the stock but only for about 5 mins, as they need to be crispy. Remove and put to one side. In a separate pan, melt the butter and stir in the cornstarch to make a paste, slowly pour in the stock and keep stirring so that you do not get any lumps.
  • Beat the egg yolk into the cream and then slowly add the cream to the stock mixture. Slowly bring to the boil and whisk until it thickens.
  • Add the cooked chicken and vegetables, cook just long enough so that everything is heated through.
  • Can be served with crusty bread or with as we did potatoes and green beans ( and some Belgian Beer)
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