Monday, 9 May 2011

Back to my roots: Dutch Stamppotje & Honey Mustard Chicken

A club by dictionary means: A group of persons organized for a social, literary, athletic, political or other purpose. So our club would be a group of persons for a culinary purpose, that cook together and share their secrets, doubts and love for cooking and extraordinary foods.
Furthermore my goal of this club is to gain experience and knowledge about different cultures and their customs about food. So I have thought to go looking for information about different cultures and their foods and post them one by one accompanying the respective recipes.

So I live in Italy, but I am Dutch.
Dutch cuisine; what is Dutch cuisine really? Many of my friends ask me what a typical Dutch dish is, and my usual answer is 'stamppot', which is a mash of potatoes and vegetables. Traditionally it is made with 'boerenkool' or in English: kale! Actually kale has become a very fashionable ingredient these days in the states, everyone is cooking with and frying kale! However for the Dutch it has become so old school that Dutch foodies desperately look for new ways to make their easy and traditionally heavy and wintery dish. And it is doable: imagine a mash of potatoes with sundried tomatoes, or with chicory and goat's cheese... or even with broccoli like I did, turns out a good combination.

The mash is then traditionally combined with 'rookworst', a smoked sausage, and trust me when I say it is gooooood! Really good! But again, very wintery and quite fat. So I looked for a lighter alternative and found a honey mustard chicken recipe over at Jessica's blog 'How Sweet it is'. Mustard is another Dutch traditional spice, because all the way back, when spices were super expensive, the Dutch would spice up their solid foods such as potatoes and different plain cabbages with mustard. It was so famous that each region had, and still has their own type of mustard. I used 'Zaanse Mosterd' and a french mustard 'Dijon' for this recipe. (I live in Italy, not all Dutch mustards are available here).

Ingredients: serves 4

  • 250gr peeled potatoes chopped in small cubes.
  • 250gr broccoli chopped
  • 200gr cauliflower chopped
  • stock
  • 20 dl milk
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 600 gr of chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil extra vergine
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons of spicy mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
How to make it:
Boil a big pan of water and add a cube of broth - boil the potatoes. 5 minutes before the end, add the vegetables. They have to be all soft and mashable when they're done. Rinse the vegetables and start mashing the vegetables while adding the milk to make it a bit more creamy. At the end add salt and pepper to taste.
While the vegetables are cooking, pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. The trick to really nice and crispy golden brown chicken is to make them really really dry (I had no idea of this fact, did you?!). Heat a bit of oil in a pan and fry the chickens 6-8 minutes - depending on the thickness of the breast filets. 
In a bowl combine, the oil, mustards, honey, salt and pepper and mix it well. When the chicken is done and still hot, brush the honey mustard mix on the chicken and serve with the mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Outcome: a traditional Dutch AVG'tje in a new jacket... AVG=  Aardappels (=potatoes), Vlees (=meat) and Groenten (=vegetables) in a new jacket, yet still with old school flavours.

Stamppotje & Honey Mustard Chicken
Buon Appetito
Chef Steph

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