Croatian Chicken Paprikash

Hungarians once ruled Slavonia, eastern continental part of Croatia. They must have had a great taste in food because you can still see their influence in Slavonia’s cuisine. Using liberal amounts of paprika and garlic, the cuisine is spicier than anywhere in Croatia. Also, if you want to make this dish really authentic, shop for a good, heavy cauldron and use open fire. It can make a great camping dish. Be responsible with fire.

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Chicken Paprikash is one of the most prepared stews in Croatia, along with two other spicy stews, Fish Paprikash and Čobanac. You should try them all when you get the chance. But first thing first…

Tools you need

  • Chef’s knife to cut all the vegetables
  • Large pot, about three liters or more to fit all the ingredients
  • Cutting board to, yes, cut things on it 🙂
  • Ladle to scoop the paprikash out of the pot and onto the plate once it’s ready
  • Peeler to peel the carrots
  • Measuring spoons if you’re a perfectionist and don’t want to guesstimate the spices 😉

Ingredients

Servings: 4-6 people

  • 1 kg chicken piece (breasts, back… with bones and skin)
  • 2 large onions, finely minced
  • 3 large red peppers
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 3 teaspoons sweet ground paprika (red, dry)
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon chilli or hot paprika
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 300 ml water or chicken broth
  • Vegeta seasoning to taste (usually from half a teaspoon to a tablespoon or more)
    You’ll find Vegeta seasoning often in Croatian recipes, especially stews and soups. It gives them a distinctive aroma that’s hard to replicate without it. It contains a mix of finely cut dried vegetables and spices. It’s also salty so you may want to put it in and give it a taste before adding salt.

Croatian Chicken Paprikash

There are many variation of this stew in Croatia. In Zagreb area instead of serving it with pasta, people add potatoes or home-made dumplings. But in Slavonia, they make it spicy and serve with noodles.

Preparation

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  2. Add 2 large onions finely minced and sauté them until they are soft and transparent.
  3. Add chopped red peppers and carrots cut into slices.
  4. Chop the chicken into small pieces. Add chicken pieces and sauté it until the meat is white.
  5. Add wine and sauté it for 5 more minutes.
  6. Spice the stew with sweet and hot paprika, salt and pepper. The spicier, the better!
  7. Add water or chicken broth to cover the chicken.
  8. Cook for 50 minutes or until chicken is soft on low heat.

Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes!
As a salad, we recommend pickled red beet 🙂

Enjoy!

Beef Stew with Polenta

We planned to make a traditional beef stew. We added some Mediterranean spices and pelati. We got stew Dalmatian way 😀
Anyway, try making this dish by replacing beef with octopus, squid or other seafood and you will get a genuine Dalmatian brudet.

(Zvonimir: Jasmina wanted a stew, I was in a mood for brudet, so we compromised 😀 )

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Beef stew with polenta

Tools you need

Ingredients

  • 600 g of beef chopped in small cubes
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 small tomatoes – pelati
  • 1.5 l of water
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • mixed dry seasoning: thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil and oregano
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower oil

Preparation

Fry chopped onions and garlic on oil.
Add meat, salt, pepper and fry until golden brown, then add parsley and bay leaf with mixed seasoning.

Mix well and add pelati and water. Cook for about 40 minutes to an hour until the meat gets soft and tender.
Finally add a tablespoon of bread crumbs and cook for another 10-15 minutes.

Add more spices or salt as desired.
Cook to the boiling point.

Polenta

Ingredients

  • 50 g of corn meal
  • 1 l of water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Preparation

Boil the water, add salt and oil.
Gently pour the cornmeal into the boiling water, stirring constantly, to avoid creating lumps.
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning polenta.

Serve the stew with polenta by pouring the stew over the polenta. Lettuce seasoned with vinaigrette makes a great addition to a complete meal.

Enjoy 🙂

Croatian Cabbage and Beans Stew – Prisiljeno zelje s grahom

Sister Stefania Papailiopulos (try reading that fast three times in a row) from Varaždin, Croatia, held this dish worthy to include it in her published book “Our food and our health” way back in 1939.

Stews are excellent for your digestion and are a necessity in your diet.
This stew is tangy, crispy and healthy. Croatians usually use sour cabbage (sauerkraut) for various stews in winter. During the summer, when fresh cabbage is available and sauerkraut is not yet prepared, this stew with a touch of vinegar has that sourly taste of sauerkraut. The original name in literal meaning says “forced” cabbage with beans, because fresh cabbage is forced to taste like it’s sour 😉

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Cabagge Beans Stew

Tools you need

  • Mandolin slicer is a useful tool to have in your kitchen and if you have one you can save time and use it to slice cabbage.
  • Chef’s knife to cut the cabbage and onion
  • Large cooking pot, about three liters or more to fit all the ingredients
  • Cutting board to, yes, cut things on it 🙂
  • Ladle to scoop the cabbage stew out of the pot and onto the plate once it’s ready
  • Measuring spoons if you’re a perfectionist and don’t want to guesstimate the spices 😉

Ingredients

  • half a head of fresh cabbage
  • 250 g of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar, but all are good)
  • salt, pepper, sugar to taste
  • 500 ml of cooked beans (you can use canned)
  • Vegeta seasoning to taste (usually from half a teaspoon to a tablespoon or more)
    You’ll find Vegeta seasoning often in Croatian recipes, especially stews and soups. It gives them a distinctive aroma that’s hard to replicate without it. It contains a mix of finely cut dried vegetables and spices. It’s also salty so you may want to put it in and give it a taste before adding salt.

Preparation

  1. Cut cabbage into stripes, thinner or wider as you prefer.
  2. In a large cooking pot heat up the oil and add finely chopped onion.
  3. When the onion gets transparent add cabbage stripes and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Splash vinegar and simmer until the cabbage is cooked. I like it crunchy, but if you prefer it to be softer, cook longer until it’s tender enough.
  5. Dust with flour, fry until the flour gets sticky and at than add tomato paste and sugar.
  6. Stir and add water to cover the cabbage.
  7. Boil for 5 minutes, than put the cooked beans in and cook just long enough to warm them up.
  8. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Wrapping up

Serve with sausages, ribs, or just eat it with bread as a vegetarian treat that it is!
Our suggestion is to try this stew with ground meat fritters.

Which protein would you serve with this stew?