Belgian Chicken Waterzooi

  • Recipe TypeEntree
  • Prep Time30 minutes
  • Yield6-10

A traditional Flemish dish from Ghent, Belgium, it may be prepared for everyday dinners with chicken, and as a splurge, with shellfish.


  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, chopped
  • 3 large shallots, minced
  • 3 large leeks, sliced
  • 1 large bulb fennel, julienned
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup Belgian-style tripel or Belgian-style golden strong ale
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, minced


  1. To make Belgian Chicken Waterzooi, put butter and olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot and place over medium heat until the butter bubbles.
  2. Add chicken and stir. Let chicken brown 3 minutes, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Add shallots and cook 3 minutes.
  4. Add sliced leeks and fennel, and cook 3 minutes or until leeks turn soft.
  5. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, stock, beer, bay leaves, thyme, and cream, bringing mixture to a simmer. Cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Do not bring to a boil, just a light simmer, or cream will curdle.
  6. Remove bay leaves before serving.
  7. Ladle Waterzooi into warm bowls and garnish with parsley.
  8. Reprinted from The Best of American Beer & Food by Lucy Saunders. © 2007 Brewers Publications. Photo © Souders Studios. All rights reserved.