This post was inspired by a recent work lunch over at the new Clocktower Brewpub in my neighbourhood. I instantly zeroed-in on the chicken and leek crockpot on the menu, and after a quick chat with the waitress realised that it was most likely a version of the Belgian classic: waterzooi. I was right, and it was an awesome rendition: cheers Clocktower!
This recipe hails from, you guessed it, Suzanne Vandyck's The Food and Cooking of Belgium (my very favourite, and ok, I admit it, my only, Belgian cookbook). There, it is listed as Ghent-style Chicken Stew, Gentse waterzooi, and Waterzooi de poulet à la Gantoise just to cover all the bases. We'll just call it plain old waterzooi and leave it at that.
The dish can be variously described as a thick soup (my preference) or a thin stew (clearly less appetising), and can be made with fish or chicken. I went for the chicken version since my dear girls despise fish in all its forms (although the dish has a farily fishy/chowdery nature about it even in the chicken version, but please don't tell my kids).
Eddy Merckx: one of the greatest things besides beer, chocolate, and great cooking to come from that glorious country.)
ANYWAY, on to the recipe!! I thought it was simple, but when I went to the camera to download the pictures, there were 97 of them to sift through (i.e. not that simple). But it is simple! There's just a lot of chopping to do.
While that's going on, get chopping -- you'll need every second (minus music selecting, beer filling, and spontaneous dancing times).
OK! By now your chicken should be done, and your soul should be rockin' to whatever tunes turn your crank.