Sunday, January 10, 2010

Water Who?? Waterzooi!!!!

I doesn't sound like something you'd want to eat, does it?  But it is!  It's a stew/soup (or "stoup", as Rachel Ray would say!) that originated in Ghent, Belgium and was originally made with fish.  Julia Child actually called it, "the most interesting recipe I've clipped" and featured it on one of her shows, so that was "French" enough for me.

I didn't get the chance to cook while in Paris....we stayed so busy sightseeing and came in too late in the evenings to have time to cook.  So, I haven't gotten the "French cooking" out of my system yet.  Oh's a great excuse to go back, right?

I found the recipe while stalking some blogs on Friday and was pretty sure I had what I needed.....since today was cold and it was Sunday, it was the perfect day to try my hand at this "stoup"!

It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but it's really quite easy to make and you can have dinner ready in about 45 minutes or so....and it's all in one pot (of course, you'll need a crispy baguette to go along with it!).

You'll need a nice sized leek, 4 stalks of celery (I also use the very center leaves....I like it a little rustic and there's so much flavor there!), carrots, extra dry vermouth, butter, eggs, chicken stock/broth, onion, tarragon (fresh or dried) and heavy cream.

I started by cutting the onion, leek, celery and carrots into small 2 inch pieces, then diced about 2 tablespoons of fresh tarragon (1 tablespoon of dried). 

Heat a Dutch oven and melt 2 tablespoon of butter....then add the veggies and tarragon and cook on medium low until somewhat translucent. 

Take out 2/3s of the veggies.  I sliced my chicken breasts and laid half of them over the first layer of veggies....covered them with 1/3 of the veggies, then added the rest of the chicken and covered it with the remaining veggies. 

The next step is to combine 1 cup each of extra dry vermouth and chicken stock and pour over the chicken and veggies to cover.....add more (1/2 of each) if necessary.  Then simmer on medium low until the chicken is done....about 20 minutes.

Then drain the liquid from the chicken and veggies.  In one separate bowl, beat 6 egg yolks to combine.  In another bowl, mix together 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch (ooops....I didn't have cornstarch, so I used 2 1/2 teaspoons of flour...mix WELL and strain through a strainer so you won't have lumps).  Combine the two mixtures,

 then add the broth 1/2 cup at a time until you've added 1/2 of the broth.  Then pour the rest in and pour over the chicken and veggies. 

 Simmer on low (watch it here....if you cook it at too high or too long, the cream will curdle) until the sauce thickens.....the VOILA! 


It really is a delicious soup!  The flavor is amazing!  I think that the next time I make it, I think I will use cut chicken instead of the breasts.....and I think I will brown them off first....just for added flavor.  I'll let you know how it goes!  In the meantime, you have to try this's wonderful!

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