Full of flavour, finger-licking and bone-crushing goodness, umleqwa or hard-body chicken is definitely all of those things and more.
Umleqwa is not like the typical chicken you find in your grocery shop, that cooks in 20 minutes. This is a meat you work for. It is tough, the skin is thick and totally different, so as a result you boil it for 45 minutes to one hour.
What makes this dish perfect, is that it is ideal to make in the winter when you’re looking for something that is tasty and filling to keep the cold at bay.
Pampierstad chef, Tsholofelo Matsietsa, shares his recipe for this traditional chicken dish.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2.5kg chicken pieces
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- 5 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 4 garlic gloves, thinly sliced
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 beef stock cube
- 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the onion and sweat for 1 minute, then add the curry powder and paprika then cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the chicken and stir everything together until the chicken is evenly coated in the seasoning.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the red and yellow peppers, add enough water to cover the chicken completely and increase the heat to medium high. Cover and cook for 2 hours, topping up with more water if necessary.
4. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 30 minutes until the liquid has thickened and reduced.
5. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve warm and enjoy!