Today’s menu was inspired by one of SA’s stand-up comedian talents who recently made his debut on ROER, a local celebrity cooking show, and kindly agreed to contribute to the blog. If you are interested in a good laugh, check out one of his live shows with ‘The Flying Dutchmen’ http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=81846751589, who soon will be visiting Cape Town. Enjoy!
Way back in die middle of the 90’s my very conservative Afrikaans teacher made a bold decision. She decided to use our Matric class as the first ones to use a new textbook that she came across. It wasn’t exactly a seminal moment in my education, but somehow the more lighthearted approach to a usually very inane and boring subject seemed to work.
Or maybe I’m just remembering it that way because of one single comprehension test in it. It was an article written by literary man Kerneels Beytenbach about a very decadent and über garlicky chicken.
Basically it was just a normal whole chicken, rubbed with salt and pepper and sealed in about four tablespoons of olive oil.
The kicker came when the chicken was placed inside the oven dish: on a bed made up of 40 cloves of whole garlic. Add to that the whole bulb of garlic stuffed into the chicken’s cavity and you could see why this was not only a departure in terms of not being an Afrikaans comprehension test about Voortrekkers, Gold rushes and patriotism, but also as un-Afrikaans cuisine as you could imagine. I mean, garlic is a good thing when you order it as a sauce with your well done steak in the local Meat and Eat, but fourty whole cloves…?
Anyway, if you’re wondering, the recipe proved to be a success – the first time I did something out of a textbook that did not qualify as homework:
After you’ve sealed the chicken in the olive oil, place it on a bed of garlic (at least 40 cloves, remember).
Add four tablespoons of dry white whine to the oil in the pan and heat.
Drizzle it over the chicken and cover as much of the garlic as possible.
Add rosemary and thyme (not forgetting the cavity), close the lid and pop into an oven that’s been waiting patiently at 180 degrees.
When it comes out, the cloves will be as soft (and spreadable) as warm butter and goes down extremely well with a nice crispy piece of bread.
And all of that out of an Afrikaans textbook, circa 1997. In Ventersdorp, nogal.
Now, the reason for all of this, is that the owner and writer of this blog was present. Both during the first reading of the recipe and the first try-out. And boy have both of us progressed a bit since then.
She got a real education, a real job and a real husband. I became a comedian. But at least we both love to cook. And recently I had the pleasure of welcoming a camera crew into my home to come and film me behind the kitchen counter, dishing up some more progressive food that I’ve moved on to since those days of garlic and poultry.
I was very honored to be asked to write something about the experience for this blog, but I thought I’d rather just do what I do well: talk nonsense. So that’s the story of the garlic chicken. By the way, it tastes great if you serve it with some lemon rice (The juice of one lemon and a good deal of zest added to some white or brown rice).
If you want to see how I fared as a tv chef, take a look at this:
RESEPTE, met geskatte quantities….
1 Blikkie Slakke
Gekapte Pietersielie en chives
Gerasperde geel of wit kaas
Braai slakke in botter.
Voeg knoffel by.
Voeg Groen kruie by.
Draai hitte laer.
Voeg ‘n paar lepels room by om die sous romerig te maak.
Krummel Bloukass in mengsel in.
Skep slakke in sous in rolletjies waarvan die koppies afgekap is.
Rasper geel/wit kaas bo-oor. Plaas in oond tot kaas smelt.
Goeie biefstuk (Rump, Sirloin, Fillet)
‘n Wiel Camembert
Wynasyn en Olyfolie
Kook die pulp van die Grenadillas saam met suiker totdat dit ‘n lekker dik stroop maak.
Snipper die Spinasie en bedruip met Asyn en Olyfolie.
Sny die Steak in stukkies so groot soos die camembert.
Flashfry (blitsbraai) die gesnipperde spinasie baie vinnig in uiters warm olie. Net voor jy dit uitskep, meng ‘n halwe koppie parmesan by en gee dit ‘n goeie vinnige roer. Haal af en dreineer.
Braai die steak en sit elke stukkie bo-op ‘n bedjie van die spinasie.
Halfeer die Camembert (in deursnee) en plaas ‘n wielietjie bo-op elke stukkie steak.
Skep ‘n lepel van die grenadilla stroop bo-oor elkeen.
Smelt 100g donker sjokolade.
Voeg ‘n blikkie kondensmelk by.
Voeg dieselfde hoeveelheid (as die kondensmelk) melk by die mengsel.
Maak seker alles is gesmelt, opgelos en goed gemeng.
Verwyder van hitte en gooi ‘n deeglik skeut Whiskey, Brandewyn of Rum by. (As ie mengsel te warm is, is dit bo die kookpunt van alkohol en die hele besigheid kook soos ‘n mal koshuismatrone se soppot op moelike Maandag…)
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Hunter S. Thompson
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