Winter is here, South Africa. With the days getting shorter and the chill setting in every evening, we’re all craving warm meals to heat us from the inside out.
There are few things as proudly South African as a traditional chicken sishebo. Sishebo, a homegrown term covering a stew, curry or potjie, is usually prepared with a thick sauce and served with rice, pap or mashed potato. Millions of South Africans enjoy the rich delight of sishebo as one of their weekly meals.
But how can you make your sishebo the talk of the town? Sishebos go hand-in-hand with big occasions like weddings, soccer matches and church gatherings. When your community gathers for these events, you want your chicken sishebo recipe to shine.
Use these five tips to make your chicken sishebo everyone’s favourite.
Tip #1: Start Preparing Early
Most good things in life take time. Be patient when preparing your chicken sishebo. Meat should be slow-cooked on a low heat to achieve a tender, melt-off-the-bone texture.
A good chicken sishebo idea is to start preparing the day before. Do all the prep work like chopping onions, carrots, and spinach early. This leaves more time for the pot to simmer and for the herbs and spices to marinate the meat and vegetables well.
Tip #2: Get Creative With Your Veggies
Everyone is used to eating the same old chicken sishebo with potatoes and carrots. Why not liven up the menu by adding a different vegetable? In this chicken sishebo recipe we used cabbage and yellow pepper to add a slightly acidic twist on the traditional.
Tip #3: A Healthier Twist On The Original
When you are a mother or caregiver, your loved ones health is one of your biggest concerns. To make your chicken sishebo more nourishing you can substitute potatoes with Amadumbe. According to Marinda Louw, a food scientist from from Stellenbosch University, Amadumbe have 9% more protein than potatoes.
Amadumbe are also rich in fibre, magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin C. This is why Amadumbe are a healthy alternative to other starches that are traditionally used in sishebo recipes. Try Vegetable & Chicken Stew with Amadumbe and let your tastebuds do the talking when you add Knorrox Spicy Chicken Soup Powder and a Knorrox Chicken stock cube to your pot.
Tip #4: Turn It On Its Head
Turn a simple sishebo into an entirely different dish this winter. Use this recipe as a base to cook a tasty Chicken sishebo using Knorrox Chicken Spicy Soup Powder. Instead of serving it on rice or pap, you can do one of the following to impress your friends and family:
• Add dumplings to the sauce for a flavourful, hunger-busting meal.
• Use puff pastry to create a “lid” for your stew and then bake it in the oven until it is golden and crispy.
• Create a hot-pot by topping your chicken sishebo with slices of potato and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Then bake it to perfection.
By turning the sishebo upside down and adding the starch separately to the top of the pot, you are creating something original without losing the delicious, savoury flavour of the sauce.
Tip #5: Celebrate Your Leftovers
If you’ve tried leftover stew, you will know that it always tastes better the next day. It’s believed that this is because, after cooking, cooling and reheating, the proteins in the meat are released, acting as flavour enhancers. Another reason why saucy dishes taste amazing when left to rest is that, over time, spices, herbs and certain ingredients (like garlic and ginger), develop more fully which adds extra flavour to the stew.
A great idea is to make a large pot of chicken sishebo and then freeze the left-overs to enjoy on a day that you have less time to prepare dinner. You can also repurpose a stew like this Chicken & Lentil sishebo by serving it in another way the second time around. Why not try it in a half-loaf of fresh bread like a bunny chow? Or serve it on white samp for a different dinner with the same delicious base.
Discover A New Favourite This Winter
We South Africans are very proud of our heritage and value doing things the way they’ve been done for generations. Nothing wrong with that. But life also changes and our tastebuds look for unique and interesting alternatives to the original. Trying new chicken stew ideas this winter lets you discover new flavours and inspiration to pass on to the next generation. Get creative!