This is the closest and easiest way of making a pretend potjie indoors when it's pouring with rain and freezing cold outside – and like any good stew you can add and subtract ingredients to suit you own taste.
The recipe does call for the liberal use of wine but you can substitute the wine with chicken or vegetable stock. You can also substitute the wine with apple cider for a bit of variation. This chicken dish goes particularly well with steamed basmati rice and crusty bread to mop up the lovely stock.
For extra flavour it is best to use free-range chicken and young vegetables such as baby potatoes, button mushrooms, young carrots and small pickle onions or shallots.
For today's recipe you need:
1 large free range chicken cut into pieces or otherwise 8 chicken pieces (we tend to use a mixture of wings and thighs, but drum sticks and breasts are just as tasty)
½ cup flour mixed with a teaspoon of chicken spice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon cooking oil
1 packet button mushrooms
12 baby potatoes (we rinse them but leave the skins on)
2 cups baby carrots
8-12 small onions
2 cloves of garlic, peeled but not sliced
2 sticks of celery sliced into wedges
1 packet of smoked pork rashers, cubed (you also use bacon)
1 cup sherry
2 cups white wine
1 tot of brandy
4 bay leaves
Coarse salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 lemon sliced
½ cup chopped parsley
Heat the cooking oil in an oven-proof casserole dish.
Toss the chicken pieces in the flour, shake off excess and fry in the casserole pot until lightly brown on each side.
Remove pieces from pot, cover and set aside.
Add the blob of butter to the oil and fry the bacon or pork pieces until browned, remove from the pot and add to the chicken pieces.
Add the potatoes, celery, onions, carrots and mushrooms and fry for two minutes, toss well, add the garlic.
Add the wine, brandy and sherry and when it starts to boil add the chicken and pork, cloves, bay leaves and fry for another minute or so, add the brown sugar.
Cover and place the pot in an oven pre-heated to 160 degrees Celsius.
Cook for about an hour or until chicken is tender.
Mix the mustard and honey and pour into the stew.
Just before serving sprinkle with parsley and place the lemon slices over the chicken.
Footnote: If it's warm outside you can prepare this dish in a potjie in the same way as above.
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A medium-bodied wine with plum and red berry flavours and well-integrated oak aromas.
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