Ghent Waterzooi: A visit to Belgium

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Ghent Waterzooi - a Belgian chicken stew
When I saw we were visiting Belgium this month for Food of the World, I got pretty excited. My brother just moved his family to Brussels this summer, so I decided to pick his brain. In all honesty, when it comes to cooking, he’s probably the culinary master of our family. I asked him what he found to be the most common dish served in his short time living there, and if there was anything he particularly liked. 
Of course his resonse was Frites – of Belgian Fries. Along with that though, would also be Mussells. Turns out there’s a very popular dish that is mussells and frites together. I debated, but really, I don’t think I should make mussells the first time I try them – they should be properly cooked by someone more experienced than me if there’s any hope I will like them. Am I right? My husband would agree. 
Although Belgian Frites are on my menu this month, I decided to turn to the rest of the interwebs for inspiration. I came across this delicious looking recipe for Endive Gratin – but none of my local stores sell endives. So I turned to the next recipe catching my eye – Ghent Waterzooi. Named after the River ghent, because traditionally this is served with fish, that was mostly caught in the Ghent. 
However, it is served frequently as a chicken dish as well, and since that is what I had on hand, I chose to go for a chicken waterzooi. This recipe yields 2 servings, and can be whipped up for a nice lunch, or doubled for a family dinner.

Ghent Waterzooi

1 TBS butter
1/2 of 1 leek, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 egg
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper
green onions, sliced (optional for garnish)
1. Saute leek, celery, and butter in a medium sauce pan.
2. Add chicken, and chicken stock. Cook 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan, and cut into chunks. Return to pan.
3. Whip egg and cream together. Stir into the chicken and veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook another 10 minutes. 
4. Serve hot with bread. 
Next month – Nov 11th – we will visit the tiny island of Malta. Start checking out recipes from this country’s cuisine. 

8 thoughts on “Ghent Waterzooi: A visit to Belgium

  1. Even I am afraid to cook mussels at home. More than under cooking, I am afraid I might cook dead mussels. Ghent waterzooi looks like a nice dish wot serve with bread.

  2. I tried buying mussles once here in Iowa, and it was a complete disaster! Some shells were open when I got home, and the rest didn't open when I cooked them. I think I ended up with 3! I'm with you, I'll let someone else make them for me. 🙂 Chicken I can definitely do, LOL

  3. I think you choose well, you really need to be near the ocean to get good live mussels. They are easy to cook but if they aren't fresh you end up with too few for your money. What a culinary adventure for your brother… living in one of the best cuisine countries in the world. You should have him send you recipes regularly for the blog, that would be fun.

  4. I love recipes from different countries. I have never heard of this, but it certainly sounds easy and delicious. I will have to check out the other recipes too.

    Thanks for sharing on Tasty Tuesdays.

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