Friday, January 28, 2011

Chicken with Blue Cheese and Feta Sauce

Fresh from South Africa, we brought back the latest Huisgenoot Wenresepte #8. I was contemplating something hot for tonight. I browsed through some potjiekos books for a Mexican/Southwestern style, picante chicken with pasta and cheese potjie, but then my daughter-in-law phoned, she likes Mexican style food, and said she was not going to bring the grandchildren over because the roads are too bad and it is too cold. I can understand that, it is freezing outside. So out came the new Huisgenoot Wenresepte #8 for a first look to see if there was something different, something new to make for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised by the latest version in this very popular series.

[Oh, this was going to be a potjie inside. There was no way I was not going to make the potjie outside in weather like we have had the past few days and weeks.]

Very quickly the decision was made. A Chicken with Blue Cheese Sauce. The recipe is on page 90, which I served, as suggested, with boiled baby potatoes still in their jackets and a green salad with romaine lettuce, green onions, grapes and crumbled feta cheese. I cannot republish the recipe because I will have the Huisgenoot agents in my email inbox before you can say “You are committing an intellectual property crime and if you do not remove the recipe from your blog at once our lawyers will be contacting the authorities demanding that you do so immediately or face the consequences.”

I made slight alterations to the recipe (who doesn’t) because I didn’t have enough blue cheese so I added a little feta cheese, and because I had chicken thighs, which I wanted to cook whole and not breasts cut into bite size pieces, as called for by the recipe, I had to add more liquid to compensate for the longer cooking time, and I increased the chicken stock by 50 ml and the white wine by 50 ml.

It came out lovely and it is something I will make again. The slightly sour, but creamy taste of the Greek yogurt and the tarty taste of the blue and feta cheeses were nicely balanced by the kick from the garlic and the acidity from the white wine that was among the ingredients. The sweetness of the grapes and sweet creaminess of the salad’s Kraft Poppyseed dressing balanced out the cheeses nicely. Although I hinted in a previous post that the Rondolino 2008 Vernaccia Di San Gimignano I had in the kitchen wine cooler might not be a good companion for yogurt, its citrus flavors of lemon and lime and hints of green apple actually rounded off the complex flavors of the sauce very nicely because this sauce was not a plain yogurt sauce like tzatziki. The additions of the white wine, the garlic and rosemary to the sauce mellowed out the yogurt and cheeses.

Looking through the whole book I must admit this could be one of the best Wenresepte books ever produced. The simple reason is that the book contains a mere 21 out of 250 pages for recipes of desserts and sweet dishes for after dinner. Usually half the book was dedicated to puddings, dessert, cakes and any form of sweetness until you felt you are being turned into a triple-textured, death by chocolate Bar One. Huisgenoot either received millions of complaints from readers and home cooks to change their chokingly sweet ways or the recipes sent to Huisgenoot is for more food and less sweets.

[By now you sense I don’t have a sweet tooth even though I will, on the rare occasion, indulge in a malva pudding, a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, a good tiramisu, a piece of baklava or my favorite, a nice cheese cake. But usually, no thank you.]

Congratulations Huisgenoot it seems like a worthy addition to my ever growing collection of cookbooks, and thank you Sonett for the Christmas present that will surely be used on a regular basis. This way we will always think of you. This will also prompt me to take a new look at the 5th, 6th and 7th versions of this popular series because I gave up after #4.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lyk en klink sondig lekker!