Chicken with Green Sauce

From our Cape Winelands Cuisine cookbook, page 95

This recipe was inspired by Thomas van der Noot’s recipe (1510) for chicken with “green sauce”. A similar recipe also appears in another Dutch cookbook from the same century, titles Wel ende delike spijse. The basis of Van der Noot’s sauce is chicken stock flavoured with ground ginger, cloves and ‘grains of paradise’ which is an African spice. In every old recipes, however, cardamom was also often referred to as “grains of paradise”.

In this recipe the ‘grains of paradise’ are replaced with peppercorns and cardamom, and instead of thickening the sauce with breadcrumbs and hard-boiled egg yolks as in the original recipe, we use verjuice and egg yolks.


1 chicken crown (breast on the bone)

6 tablespoons butter

2 shallots, chopped

1 cup field mushrooms

1 cup baby carrots

½ cup shelled peas

1 clove garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon ginger, chopped

2 litres chicken stock

½ cup La Motte Sauvignon Blanc

½ cup dry sherry

3 cloves

1 tsp black peppercorns, cracked

4 cardamom pods

1 tsp salt

3 egg yolks

2 tablespoons verjuice


  • Preheat oven to 220°C.
  • Heat a frying pan, brown half the butter and add the chicken, season with the salt, brown on all sides. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Heat a casserole pot and add the rest of the butter, add the shallots, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, pepper, cloves, pepper and cardamom and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add the white wine, sherry, stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Plunge the parsley into boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes, strain off the water and puree whilst hot, place in a bowl over ice immediately to cool.
  • Beat together the egg yolks and verjuice, add to the pot, lower the heat and cook until thick and velvety.
  • Place the chicken in the oven for a further 6 minutes, remove and carve from the bone to serve.
  • Add the parsley puree and peas, check for seasoning and serve with roasted potatoes or basmati rice.

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