We spent the last week of May in The Kruger Park with temperatures in the late 20’s & even early 30’s. Pure bliss! Although it feels like months ago already, the memories still linger.
One of the highlights on the Kruger calendar is always the hoenderpotjie! My dear husband is no cook when we’re home, but when it comes to the Kruger & a hoenderpotjie, he’s your man. So, here is his recipe:
chicken potijiekos with chutney, serves 6 – 8
2 Large onions, sliced in rings
+/- 16 Chicken pieces (2 pieces of chicken per adult – bone in & trimmed of excess skin)
A colourful mix of veggies – all chopped into chucks (baby potatoes, sweet potato, butternut, carrots, mushrooms, courgettes, patty pans, mixed peppers etc)
About 100ml of brown vinegar
1x 470g bottle of Mrs Balls Original Recipe Chutney
Packet of (Knorr) brown onion soup
Dried mixed herbs
Salt & pepper
Optional: about a cup of white wine
Ask your local kampvuur expert to get the fire going. Ensure that you have enough coals to see the entire process of cooking (about 3 hours) through.
Place the potjie on medium heat. Add a bit of olive oil & brown the onions. Remove from the pot & set aside.
Brown your chicken pieces on all sides. Take care not to burn the meat. Remove from the pot.
Now add the baby potatoes & any other veggies that might take longer to cook (like the sweet potato, carrots & butternut).
At this stage, the chicken also goes back into the pot on top of these veggies. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.
Cover & let it simmer for about an hour on fairly low heat. Do not add lots of liquid when you’re simmering the meat, but be careful not to burn the pot either. Use your discretion here – add a bit of water if you need to.
Add your other veggies & maybe some liquid (water or even some white wine), but not too much. Flavour with the mixed herbs & brown vinegar. Also season to taste with salt & pepper. Simmer for another 40 minutes to an hour. Add your packet of brown onion soup, 15 minutes before dishing up.
Your final step (about five minutes before serving), is to add the Mrs Balls chutney. Use as much as you like – we use almost the entire bottle. Give a very gentle stir, but be careful not to make the whole business soggy.
Remove from the heat & remove the lid so that the pot can cool down slightly. Serve with (wild) rice, samp or freshly baked bread.
Now, dish up, sit back on your camping chair & dig in while you admire the clear African sky & the camp fire & talk about your sightings of the day!
Such a wonderful life here in Africa…
[Pictures all courtesy of my husband, the game spotter & potjie master – love!]