To me, this dish is my grandma. Beginning of autumn and childhood.
I have to admit, I have always been a city child and I couldn’t bare more than 5 days in a village. But somehow, despite all this I have clear memories of my time there. Early autumn evenings, wooden stoves and home cooked meals. Togetherness. Fresh ingredients, all handpicked from the garden. Chickens that had a happy life and even a happier taste. Time stood still, somehow.
But of course, I was a kid back then. My notion of time was quantified in games and food and this dish was the reason I had got called in. I didn’t like it, how could I. But the taste of the slightly roasted bell pepper, the fresh juicy meat from my Grandma’s chickens, the freshness from the handpicked parsley. The extra oil and the mamaliga to perfectly pair it. They are all there, in my memory. Fresh as I would have experienced it yesterday.
Food is amazing, really.
And this morning actually I felt quite hygge. But not too much because there is still some sun left here in Berlin (still.). So naturally, I felt like stew. But not too heavy, you know?
Just enough to give your evening a cozy start.
This dish serves two very generous portions or four if you have a tiny stomach.
- 2 chicken legs
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 300 – 500 ml water
- spring of fresh thyme
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 tbsp flour (optional)
- in a heavy bottomed pot add some vegetable oil on high and add the chicken in, skin face down;
- brown the chicken on all sides and set aside;
- cut the paprika into stripes and add it to the same oil where you browned the chicken;
- cook until fragrant; you’re aiming here for the slightly roasted bell pepper smell;
- once the paprika is done, add the chicken back in and the chopped tomatoes;
- crush the garlic and add it with the spring of thyme;
- season well and allow it to cook fro 30 – 45 minutes;
- check the thickness of your sauce and if you feel like thickening it, add the flour in a separate bowl, bring some of the sauce in, mix well and pour it in the pot; cook on high while stirring until desired consistency.
My suggestion would be to serve this over mamaliga (polenta) and to make the sauce a tiny bit thicker. Or, leave the sauce as it is and eat everything with fresh bread.
Until the next one,