Romanian Chicken Ghiveci

Romanian Chicken Ghiveci
Romanian Chicken Ghiveci

Stews are big in Romania and all over Eastern Europe.  One pot dishes, over time, provided a hearty sustenance for first, peasants in the fields and later, workers in the factories.  These dishes are always packed full of flavour from in season produce and, traditionally, home-grown herbs.  Served with a side portion of rice or dark rye bread, traditional meals are not only easy but can also be a really cheap way of feeding your 5,000 (family and/or friends).  I cooked this for my family and it proved to be every bit delicious as I had anticipated.

 

Ingredients

4 tbsp vegetable oil

1 mild onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 red peppers, seeded and sliced

1.5kg / 3 1/2 lb chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks etc. as chicken on the bone is best for flavour)

3 potatoes, diced

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 tsp chopped fresh marjoram

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

3 carrots, cut into chunks

1/2 small celeriac cut into chunks

120 ml dry white wine

2 courgettes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped fresh rosemary, marjoram to garnish

Rye bread and/or white rice to serve

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole

Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until soft

Add the red peppers

ghiveci-2

Place the chicken pieces in a casserole and brown gently on all sides

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After about 15 minutes, add the tomato puree, potatoes, herbs, carrots, celeriac, white wine and season to taste

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Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 50 minutes

ghiveci-5

Add the sliced courgettes 5 minutes before the end of cooking

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Season to taste

Garnish with herbs and serve with a portion of white rice or dark rye bread

Serve

Serve!

Bulgarian Potted Chicken

This recipe is a traditional Bulgarian casserole, cooked on top of the stove in a flameproof pot.  The chicken is cooked very slowly on a low heat until it is tender and just before it is falling off the bone.  Despite the fact the sauce only uses a small amount of stock and tomatoes, I ended up with rather a lot of sauce.  I would recommend serving with bread for the sauce or alternatively, rice.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

8 chicken portions on the bone, I prefer thighs but drumsticks would also be suitable

6-8 firm, ripe tomatoes chopped

2 garlic cloves

3 white onions

250ml chicken stock

2 bay leaves

2 tsp paprika

10 white peppercorns slight crushed/bruised

(It can be difficult to track down white peppercorns, even Waitrose did not stock them! However, it was worth the extra effort.

I do not own a pestle and mortar as my kitchen is so small, so I put them on a freezer bag and bruised using a bottle)

Handful of parsley finely chopped

Instructions

Chop the tomatoes and crush the garlic, then place both in flameproof dish

Place chicken on top of tomatoes

chicken-1

Cover and cook on a gentle heat for 15 minutes

Add the diced onion, bay leaves, paprika, peppercorns and stock

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Cover tightly and cook on  very low heat, stirring occasionally so nothing sticks or burns, for 2 hours or until the chicken is tender

chicken-3

Depending on how fatty the chicken is, the fat on the top may need to be skimmed

Five minutes before the end of cooking, stir in the finely chopped parsley

Bulgarian Potted Chicken

Serve!

Related Images:

A Balkan Side Dish: Courgettes with Rice

This Balkan side dish is super tasty, if a bit time-consuming and is really healthy.  Make large quantities and either keep leftovers in the fridge or freezer to reheat as and when you want it.

Ingredients:

(serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish)

1kg small or medium courgettes

60ml olive oil

3 white onions

3 garlic cloves

1tsp chili powder

1 can chopped tomatoes

200g risotto rice

600ml vegetable or chicken stock

2 tbsp parsley

white pepper

sour cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C

Top and tail courgettes and slice into large chunks

Heat half the olive oil in large frying pan

Gently fry chopped onions and garlic

Onion & Garlic

Stir in chili powder

Onion, garlic, chili

Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes

Tomatoes

Add courgettes

Courgette

Cook over gentle to medium heat for 10 minutes

Add rice to pan

Rice

Add stock to pan, cover and simmer for 45 minutes

Stock

Stir occasionally to prevent rice it sticking

Simmering

Remove pan from heat

Stir in white pepper and parsley

Pepper & parsley

Spoon into ovenproof dish

Bake for 45 minutes

Halfway through cooking, brush the remaining olive oil over mixture

Garnish with parsley, black olives and sour cream

Done! Serve!

Done! Serve!