Saturday, April 4, 2020

South Africa Potijekos

With my hip surgery and now Covid-19, my around the world meals have been way on the back burner but I finally had all of the ingredients to make one from Africa.  So far, I’ve done Paprik√°sCsirke - Chicken Paprikash – Paprika Chicken from Europe, Ceviche Peruano from South America, GreekLentil Soup (Fakes Soupa) from Europe, and Murgh Makhana - Butter Chicken from Asia.

This South African meal is called Chicken Potijekos, where potijekos means small pot food and it is generally prepared outdoors in a pot of the same name over an open fire or coals as below but I just cooked mine in a large cast iron Dutch oven on the stove.  

After deciding on this dish, I went on line in search of a recipe and liked the one from Yuppie Chef and I adapted a little in the directions.  Please click on the link to visit their site for more photos.

Chicken Potijekos – Adapted from YUPPIECHEF

Ingredients: (serves 6-8)
1 tbsp cooking oil
8 chicken thighs
2 onions, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
4 carrots, sliced
1 or 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced
3 medium potatoes, sliced
12 oz green beans, topped and tailed
1 small butternut, diced
9 oz white button mushrooms, halved
9 oz dried peaches (apricots were all I could find)
2 tsp of coarse sea salt
2 cups of white wine
1 tbsp freshly-ground black pepper
1 stick of cinnamon
2 bay leaves

Make yourself a good fire and prepare your coals.
1. Heat the oil in a potjie over moderate coals large cast iron Dutch oven and brown the chicken in two batches and remove to a plate.

2. Add the onion and garlic, frying until the onion is translucent.
3. Return to chicken to the pan atop the onion.

5. Add the carrots, mushrooms, and beans and season with 1 tsp salt then add the fruit.

6. Combine the wine, black pepper, cinnamon and bay leaves, and pour over the top of the veggies.

7. Cover and simmer over low coals heat for 1 hour or until the chicken and vegetables are tender (check the amount of liquid in the pot from time to time, adding more if required). A golden rule of potjiekos is not to stir it, so resist the urge for best results.

Serve hot with fluffy rice or freshly baked bread and there you have it, easy and heart-warming South African grub.
We ate it with nothing else as it already contained plenty of starch.

We provided take out to our neighbors and everyone thought it was very good with one exception and I was actually surprised at how good it was considering the low amount of herbs and spices used.  The exception was the green beans which were dry and tough and I'm thinking they were just bad beans but to be sure, I will put them in first next time so they will be sure to be in the liquid.  

I would definitely make it again, perhaps with a different meat, and it’s one you might want to consider.  It reminded us of Emeril's Braised Short Ribs With Root Vegetables that we made several years ago and really liked.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


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  1. I'm so glad to see a new "around the world" meal. I've been enjoying those recipes.It seems every African dish I've tried combines a sweet and savory component. I always think they're good. And I'd love to try that Emeril recipe. I'm a fan of short ribs.

  2. Larry, You certainly are being creative...using the old gray matter and trying different recipes. I think that every ethnic group and area of the world has a small pot type or stew type of dinner. Your options are probably almost endless! Stay Well and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  3. It looks hearty and comforting. Yum!


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