South African Creole Fusion from a Favoured Cookbook!

I miss the days where we would get fabulous recipes from cook books. Don’t get me wrong though, I love finding recipes online too. It is just that those recipes you tend to find in cook books are usually delightful and wholesome. If they were published in a book, they must be the best of the best! Online you have to dig through millions of recipes before you find one which truly is amazing.

All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

Well as of late one of my friends has been spoiling me with South African treats of all sorts. A few weeks ago I tried a koeksister which is a little cookie type thing. Last week I got to try a melktert, this being the Afrikaans way of spelling out “milk pie”, however in Dutch it would be spelled as “melktaart”. This took me forever to realize that a tart or pie in Dutch is not the same as it is in Afrikaans. Yet they are pronounced the same.

Afrikaans eh? They really changed Dutch words to make it more their own.

Anyway, my lovely lovely friend who has been introducing me to South African treats also loaned me one of her mama’s cookbooks which was written by a South African woman. Ever heard of Annette Human? No? Well she is a well-known food writer in South Africa! And from reading this cookbook I see why!

For the recipe I made for this evening, this is the blurb she wrote before writing out the recipe:

“The Creole descendants of European colonists in Latin America have developed a distinctive and very flavourful style of cooking. Tomatoes, green peppers, and rice are characteristic ingredients in their recipes – as in this dish. The chicken may be replaced with portions of boerewors.”

For those of you who don’t know boerewors is the Afrikaans spelling of “farmer’s sausage”.  As I do not eat red meat, this is not for me, but my family and friends love it as well as other South African meat treats such as droëwors (droge worst) or in English “dry sausage” and biltong. Biltong is the South African version of beef jerky when simply described to foreigners.

Creole Chicken Casserole Pre-Cooking

So according to that blurb above, the dish I made was a Creole Chicken Casserole. The cookbook I got it from is called the All-Colour Cookbook and it is by Annette Human. If you are interested in the recipe, read below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) white basmati
  • 1 kg chicken portions (I used 3 thighs and 4 breasts)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup (125ml) sunflower oil
  • 2 smallish green peppers
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice as directed on packaging. Rinse in a colander under cold running water and drain. Set aside.

  2. Season chicken portions with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Quickly fry a couple of chicken portions at a time in oil until golden brown on both sides. Place chicken in shallow ovenproof dish with a volume of 10 cups (2.5L). Sprinkle rice on top.

  3. Halve and seed the green peppers and cut into strips. Peel the onion and chop roughly. Peel and crush garlic. Place in pot in which the chicken was fried. (Leave just enough oil in pot to braise the vegetables.) Add tomatoes with juices, curry powder, and dried thyme. Cover with lid and braise the vegetables for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spoon the vegetables over the rice layer. Pour liquid in after. Cover the container and cook the dish for about 40 minutes at 200ᵒC (390ᵒF) until chicken is tender. Serve with young peas and a beetroot salad.

Serves 6

Creole Chicken Casserole from the All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
Creole Chicken Casserole from the All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

I think my favourite part about this cookbook is that Annette Human wrote the measurements out in both metric and imperial! I only know and understand imperial measurements in the kitchen which makes it hard for me to follow recipes which need a scale to measure out the grams for every ingredient when following a British recipe. But thankfully this woman thought it out and wrote every ingredient in both grams and cups! What a lifesaver!

Although I did tweak the recipe some (I added an additional pepper as mine were on the small side) I also added more seasoning. And of course as a lover of garlic, I added two more cloves. I’ll include a photo of the original recipe so you can see it without my tweaks.

Creole Chicken Casserole from All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human
Creole Chicken Casserole from All-Colour Cookbook by Annette Human

This was a pretty good recipe. A little bland for me (thank goodness I added more seasoning!) but I quite enjoyed it!

I know I will try to do some more South African recipes from this book before I give it back!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Happy eating!

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