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Newsletter #33  - September 30 , 2002

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Hi, welcome to my newsletter!

In South Africa, chicken is the affordable alternative to red meat and as I am not really a 'fish' person we often have chicken at home. I love pies, and my favourite is pie with chips and gravy, yummy!!! I have been looking for a good recipe for a chicken pie, and as if she could read my mind, along came friend Zuri with her Traditional Chicken Pie recipe. Thanx, Zuri, you're a life saver! Cant wait to have wifey try this one! (Scroll down for the recipe!)...and before anyone asks, I am not the real chef, I mainly collect the recipes! But in all fairness, I am capable of putting together the odd dish, :-)

I also added a quick and easy chicken stew recipe. Nando's is sinonymous with per-peri chicken, and although this is not Nando's, give the recipe a try and enjoy chicken with a bite! Scroll down for the recipes!

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Everyone in South Africa who followed the Idols Competition closely will remember Melanie Lowe. She now has her own fan club and you can go visit her Forum for the latest news and join the Club by clicking here. If you are a Mel fan join the Fanclub, a special surprise is on the cards for Club members!

Don't forget to send in your Elephant Stew suggestions. Add your comment and be part of a really unique recipe!

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If you happen to be looking for a specific Traditional South African recipe, just email me and I will do my best to try and find it for you! 

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That's it for now
Keep well

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The Recipes
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Zuri sent me the following recipe:

I did not see our very traditional Chicken Pie on your pages so I'm sending you this recipe. It's such a wonderful dish and it's not made (like melktert!) in other countries, and certainly not the way we make it, with its slight Malay influence. This is how I make it and currently also use it for small pastries which sell like hotcakes at a small local shop.


In the good old days our grans used their own free-range farm chickens and a minimum of taste enhancers, usually only mace, a pinch of cloves, salt and white pepper. The chickens were fairly tough and required long cooking, but their flavour was unsurpassed and we do not get that today with commercially farmed chickens. So slight adaptations had to be made. Also, the older generation made their own flaky pastry, but this is time-consuming, and the modern shop-bought variety (especially that of Woolworths) is very good.

Oven temp: 220 deg C/ 450 deg F. Serves 4 - 6.

1 plump, yellow-fleshed chicken, about 1.5 kg, preferably with giblets
About 750 ml/3 cups water
30 ml/2 generous tablespoons of a good chicken stock powder (Woolworths or Ina Paarman's)
50 ml sago
2 hardboiled eggs
A few slices of ham
Flaky pastry, defrosted

Put the water in a pot and add the chicken and giblets. (Remove superfluous fat from chicken before cooking) Sprinkle over the chicken stock. Bring to simmer, and simmer chicken until very tender. Then briefly soak the sago in a little water, stir through, and add to the chicken. Simmer until the sago has become transparent. Remove the chicken from the pot and put in a bowl to cool. Fish out all the loose bits too, with a slotted spoon.

10 ml/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
3 ml/ 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Finely chopped fresh garlic or 5 ml garlic flakes
15 ml/1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 10 ml/2 teaspoons dried thyme
10 ml/2 teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 large egg yolks 
30 ml dry sherry or dash of brandy (optional)
45 ml/3 tablespoons flour

Add the spices, herbs and lemon juice to the liquid in the pot. Then whisk in the eggs, booze and flour very well, until liquid is smooth. Now debone the chicken, cutting the flesh into chunks. Do not cut it too finely, chunky is better! Make sure all the fine bones are removed: this is easy provided the chicken is almost falling-apart tender.

Add the chicken to the liquid, and stir through. Taste for seasoning: stock powder might be a little salty, so only add salt at this stage, preferably herbed sea salt. Stir through. On a floured board, open up 1 roll of defrosted flaky pastry, and roll out until thinner, about 1/2 cm. Select a suitable oven dish, and cut out a lid considerably larger than your dish. Put chicken in the oven dish. Peel and slice the hardboiled eggs and lay over the chicken, then do the same with the ham. Paint the edges of the dish with beaten egg, and fit pastry over it loosely (it tends to shrink). Pinch the edges so that the pastry sticks to the sides of the dish. No need to prick holes. Paint the pastry lid well with the rest of the beaten egg.

Put into the very hot oven (220 deg C) for about 12 mins, then lower heat to 190 deg C. and bake another 45 mins or until pastry is puffed and golden and chicken is cooked through. This dish can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for a day and reheated. It also freezes beautifully. Serve with yellow rice. 

Sechu sa khoho (Chicken stew) 

1 whole chicken (preferably hand raised) 
60 ml oil 
2 onions, chopped 
1 clove garlic, crushed 
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped 
2 chillies, deseeded and chopped 
1 chicken stock cube 
250 ml hot water 
salt and pepper to taste 

1. Cut chicken into portions. Heat oil and fry chicken on all sides until brawn. 
2. Add onions and garlic, sauté until onion is tender. 
3. Add tomatoes, chillies and chicken stock cube dissolved in the hot water. Season and allow to simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. 
4. Serve warm on pap or mashed potatoes. 

Peri peri chicken 

2 kg chicken pieces 
salt, freshly ground black pepper and thyme to taste 
cake flour 

250 ml tomato sauce 
100 ml oil 
50 ml vinegar 
50 ml chutney 
15 ml Worcestershire sauce 
10 ml paprika 
5 ml mustard powder 
2 ml peri peri powder 
2 dashes Tabasco sauce 
1 clove garlic, crushed 

Preheat the oven to 180 șC. Spray a large ovenproof dish with non-stick spray. Season the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and thyme to taste. Spoon a little cake flour into a plastic bag and shake a few chicken pieces at a time in the flour until well coated. Place the chicken pieces in the prepared oven dish. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce. Pour over the chicken pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 2 hours in the fridge, turning occasionally. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminium foil and bake for another 60 minutes or until done. Serves 8.



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