Kasha is a Russian porridge made with a variety of grains such as barley, wheat, millets and oats. The most popular is buckwheat, which has a distinctive nutty flavour. This version is particularly good served with a fried mushroom and also makes a delicious stuffing for roast chicken. If you buy the buckwheat already roasted, there is no need to dry fry it before adding the stock.
This Polish dish reminds me a lot of cevapi in the Balkans but a much lighter version. Chicken Bitki are like little sausages/meatballs, coated in flour and fried. In Poland chicken is normally more gamey, so if you can, get cornfed chicken or alternatively, use guinea fowl. I have never used chicken mince before and was not convinced about the combination with nutmeg and mushrooms, but in fact, they were quite delicious indeed.
Ingredients (to make 12)
115g flat, portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
50g white breadcrumbs
350g chicken breast, minced or chopped finely
2 eggs separated
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2 tbsp plain flour
3 tbsp oil
Melt butter in a pan
Fry mushrooms for 5 minutes until soft
Allow mushrooms to cool and mop up any liquid/butter
Mix breadcrumbs, chicken, egg yolks, nutmeg, salt and pepper and then the mushrooms
Whisk the egg whites until stiff
Stir half the egg white into the chicken mixture, then fold the remainder
It is not necessary, but I would recommend that you then put the mixture in the refrigerator for 30 minutes as it becomes easier to mold the bitki
Shape the mixture into 12 even long meatballs, 2.5cm wide and 7.5cm long
Roll each bitki in flour
Heat oil in frying pan
Heat the bitki for 10 minutes, turning until evenly golden brown and cooked through
Serve hot with a green salad and pickled beetroot
This dish is the ultimate in one-pot cooking. All the ingredients literally go in one pot which is put in the oven and after just 1 1/2 hours is cooked to absolute perfection. This recipe serves 4 very hungry people!
250g tin of kidney beans
8 chicken thighs and drumsticks
12 streaky bacon rashers
1 large white onion
250ml dry white wine
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary
pinch of nutmeg
150ml sour cream
1 tbsp paprika
lemon wedges, rosemary sprigs for garnish
Preheat oven at 180ºC
Arrange bacon around sides and base of ovenproof dish.
Sprinkle over onion.
Sprinkle over kidney beans.
Trim chicken pieces.
Combine wine, oregano, rosemary and nutmeg.
Pour wine mix over the bacon, onion and beans.
Mix together sour cream and paprika in a bowl or plastic bag.
Toss the chicken in the sour cream.
Place coated chicken on top of onion and beans.
Cover with foil or lid.
Place casserole dish in oven for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
For the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the foil or lid.
Serve garnished with rosemary and a wedge of lemon.