Waterzooi – Beer Cuisine

Waterzooi - Great Belgian Beer Cuisine

Waterzooi – Great Belgian Beer Cuisine

Waterzooi is a classic stew from Northern Belgium whose name translates roughly to “watery mess.” The original recipe was made with seafood and it still is in much of the country although Waterzooi de Poulet is just as popular especially in the capital city, Brussels. Nearly every restaurant has their own variation and countless recipes can be found in a single google search. My version combines the best aspects of the various versions that I have been served in Belgium and the rest of the globe.

Ingredients for Waterzooi

4 Chicken Breast, on the bone
3 tablespoons Butter
4 Leeks (cleaned well and chopped)
4 Carrots (peeled and cut into circles)
4 center ribs chopped Celery
3 medium White Potatoes (smooth skin, waxy type best)
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
8 Juniper Berries
1 tsp of Thyme (dry)
3 tbls of Parsley, chopped
12 oz. of Belgian White Ale (a Wit like Hoegaarden is perfect)
4 cups of Chicken Stock
1 cup of Cream
1 Egg Yolk
1 cup of rough chopped Watercress
Parsley for garnish


In a deep pot over moderate/high heat lightly brown the chicken breasts skin side down in a combo of olive oil and tabs of butter (only brown the skin side). When lightly browned remove the chicken and add the remaining butter, melt, and sauté the vegetables for 5 minutes. Season stew with salt and white pepper along with the parsley, thyme, red pepper flakes, and juniper berries stirring until the herbs are fragrant. Add the Ale and bring to a boil. Add chicken stock and return the chicken to the pot. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Wisk together the cream and egg yolk with a dash of salt. Add a ladle full of the hot cooking liquid to the cream & egg mixture whisking to combine. Add this mixture to the pot stirring well. Watch the pot making sure that the stew stays just below a boil and cook for three minutes. Add the watercress and stir in well. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Ladle into four shallow bowls and serve with a crusty baguette for dipping.

1 Comment

  1. Awesome blog.Really looking forward to read more. Great.


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