Potjiekos is a classic staple South African cuisine, cooked over a fire for hours while friends and family gather around the fire with a beer or glass of wine in hand sniffing the delicious aromas every time the potjiekos pot’s lid is lifted to add more ingredients.
If you don’t have a three-legged cast-iron pot to prepare your chicken potjiekos, you can use a slow-cooker. Your chicken potjiekos won’t, however, have that smokey flavour that makes this recipe so special.
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How to make chicken potjiekos
- 1 kg chicken assorted chicken pieces on the bone, with skin
- 2 medium onions
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 small butternut
- 5 carrots
- 2 small aubergine or 1 large
- 1 punnet mushrooms
- 200g baby marrow (zucchini)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups white wine
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- First, you’ll want to chop up your vegetables. Don’t make them too small, as they can get lost in the stew. Thick chunks are the best way to go.
- When the fire has heated up the bottom of the pot, add 2 tablespoons of oil, and chuck in the chicken. Be careful not to lean over the pot, as the oil might spit up.
- Fry the chicken up a little before adding the onions, and letting it all brown a bit.
- Next, add in the 2 cups of chicken stock and the bay leaves.
- Salt the aubergine. This step isn’t crucial, but it will definitely add to the tastiness of the end product.
- Now you will layer in the vegetables, in order of how long each one takes to cook. Potatoes will go at the bottom, then butternut, carrots, aubergine, mushrooms, and last – baby marrow.
- (Optional) Add 2 cups of white wine. This will deepen the flavour and add more complex undertones to the taste.
- And that’s that. This simple stew will cook over the fire for an hour, without being stirred or at all bothered. All you need to do is ensure that the fire doesn’t go out, and that it doesn’t roar around the pot either.
- After an hour, you can check the chicken potjiekos, to see if the vegetables are cooked through (they certainly should be), and if you’re happy with the flavour. Some prefer to pull it off the flames at this point, while others like to cook theirs for up to 4 hours. It all depends on the texture you prefer, and how hungry the friends around the fire are.
*This recipe was found on wandercapetown.com.
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water (the temperature doesn’t really matter; it can be cold)
- Mix 4 ingredients till combined. Cover with foil and let sit in a warm place for 12 – 18 hours. Preheat oven to 230°C. When ready to bake.
- Place cast iron pot in the oven to warm for 30 minutes. (Can use a nice pot like Le Creuset or just your average rusty dutch oven, minus rust!)
- While the pot is warming, dump your dough out onto a heavily floured surface. While it has been sitting, it has been turning into a wet, bubbly goo. (You can add other ingredients at this point like1/2 chopped, sautéed onion, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil and 1 heaped Tablespoon Rosemary.) So, dump it out and dust it with flour. Turn it over a couple times just so it forms into a ball. Cover with a towel and let sit for up to 2 hours, or until you pot is heated. Then place the ball of dough into the pot.
- Cover with lid and bake at 230°C for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- The bread should sound hollow when tapped.
*This recipe was found on www.keyingredient.com.