Can’t believe it’s already February! It’s red and white everywhere! Aaaah! What can we say it’s the month of LOVE!
A lot of single people get depressed during this month especially at the sight of all the Valentines gifts at retail stores. Well, in my book love is not just about romantic love, it can be love between a child and a parent, friends, siblings etc. So, to all my singlet’s out there…please chin-up and show some love yourself and then those around you. Invite friends over and I’ve got this perfect dish that won’t break your bank account.
Ever see chicken hearts at your retail store and never know how to cook them? I bought a 500g packet for eight odd rands, that’s reasonable. Now I had the task of making them divine to the point that one would want to buy/cook/eat them again.
At home I went through the contents of my cupboard and thought of making a pie. Besides I had my Le Creuset mini round cocotte from that came with the invitation to the Bovril Black Tie Dinner and I’ve really wanted to use it in one of my pictures (You can’t blame me it’s so cute). So, making the Chicken Hearts & Vegetable Pie seemed like a perfect idea. By the way, this dish got two thumbs up from my friends, I hope you get to try it and give me your opinions. Happy Cooking!
Chicken Hearts and Vegetable Pie Recipe
15ml (1Tbsp) olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
± 500g chicken hearts
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 sweet corn cob, kernels removed
1 green pepper, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
5ml medium curry powder
5ml (1tsp) salt
45ml (3Tbsp) sour milk
5ml red wine vinegar
15ml (1Tbsp) cornstarch or flour
45ml (3Tbsp) tomato paste
Pinch of sugar
For the Sour Cream & Black Pepper Mash Potatoes:
5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
60ml (4Tbsp) sour milk
salt and black pepper to taste
fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish
Flavourful, finger licking and bone crushing goodness….. Yup! It is all of those things and more….
There’s quite a number of English names given to this chicken i.e. traditional free range chicken, home grown chicken, indigenous chicken, chicken raised at home and my personal favourite…..the running chicken.
I grew up calling it Umleqwa which means it’s a running chicken and you chase it if you want to catch it. I’m not sure whether the chasing takes place before or after the slaughter. If you were lucky enough to grow up in a rural or farm setting you would remember the chickens roaming around and running if you try to catch it. I’ve also witnessed people chasing after a headless chicken quite a number of times…..it really runs!
Umleqwa is not like your typical retail chicken that cooks in 20 minutes. The meat is tough, the skin is thick and totally different as a result you boil it for 45 minutes to one hour.
One thing about indigenous food cooking is that less is more. Umleqwa is a typical example of a dish, not just any dish but a tasty dish that only requires minimal seasoning such as salt. At least our parents and grandparents cook it that way and it is so good.
Most people at this time of the year are going home to be with their families and of course to feast. Chances are umleqwa is going to be on the menu.
I’m presenting to you a recipe that won’t only have you and your family licking fingers and crushing bones but will also have your family asking for more and of course thinking you are Jamie Oliver! Enjoy!
1 whole chicken, plucked, cleaned and cut into 6 pieces
900ml boiling water
1 chicken stock cube
15ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, skin removed and chopped
30ml (2 tbsp) tomato paste
2.5ml (½ tsp) curry powder
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
If there’s remaining water from the cooked chicken, don’t throw it away just add it to the tomato mixture to make gravy.