Thursday, February 2, 2012
Vetkoek and Curry Chicken
This is a recipe that one of my friends from South Africa shared with me a few years ago. She said that this was usually the Sunday afternoon favorite that her Grandmother would make when the whole family came for dinner.
I've made it quite a few times and it's definitely a favorite around here too. There's usually a bit of a fight over who gets the last sandwich.
These make also fantastic picnic sandwiches-so much more fun than boring old white bread and bologna!
Vetkoek (pronounced FET-cook) is the bread portion of the sandwich, made from a very simple dough recipe, and then deep fried.
I never said that this was a terribly healthy meal.
The filling is basically a curried chicken salad. There was no definite recipe for this-all my friend said is that everyone made their chicken salad differently.
I've come up with our own variation for the Chicken Salad though, and i'll share it as well.
Of course, you could top these with something else if you wanted. If you're going to do the Chicken Salad, I'd suggest making that first. The Vetkoek is best when it's piping hot and crispy.
I make mine in a stand mixer, but this is easily made by hand as well.
For the Vetkoek: (makes about 14 generously sized buns)
7 cups Flour (all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoons Salt
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
Cooking oil (for frying)
Stir the water into the yeast and let it sit a few minutes. Then add in the sugar and salt.
Slowly stir in the flour. You may need a little more, or slightly less. You don't want the dough to be too wet, you want to be able to handle it. You don't want it terribly dry though either.
Think a slightly wetter pizza dough.
Once your dough is mixed, knead it for a few minutes and then let it rise for about 30 minutes.
Once it's finished rising, start heating the oil in a cast iron skillet. The oil should be about an inch deep. Heat the oil to 375f.
While the oil warms up, with floured hands, pull off balls of dough that are slightly smaller than a tennis ball, roll and flatten into a patty, as if you were making a hamburger.
You don't want these to be too thick, or the outside will be done long before the inside.
Around an inch thick is perfect-they'll puff up as they fry.
Once the oil is thoroughly heated, fry them for about 2-3 minutes on each side, and then set aside to drain on paper towels.
In a couple minutes they'll be cool enough to slice open for the chicken salad.
For the Curried Chicken Salad:
3 Chicken breasts, cooked, boned and cubed/shredded (or equal amount of dark meat. No chicken discrimination here!)
4 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
1/2 cup of diced carrots
1/3 cup diced minced pickle
1 medium apple, cored and diced
1/2 yellow onion, minced
3 tablespoons curry powder
Salt and Pepper, to taste
I know, apple sounds like a really strange ingredient for chicken salad, but trust me, it's amazing. You don't have to follow this recipe exactly either-this is just how we like it.
Spread the chicken salad onto your freshly fried vetkoek, and garnish with a dilly, kicker of a pickle.
You know those fancy pickles sitting on your pantry shelves, the ones that you've been waiting to open for the perfect, most deserving meal? Now would be the time.