Chicken with vegetables is a staple dish in rural areas. It is also a dish offered at outdoor peasant festivities, for which we have a host of varieties. In a cookbook published more than sixty years ago, I came across such a recipe, in turn taken over from an older book, written in the ancient language.
The home-grown chicken, naturally fed, had to be severed in several pieces. In a lard-greased pot, a layer of finely-chopped onion was laid, which also contained a couple of peeled tomatoes. As soon as the onion became tender, it was quenched in thick tomato sauce or tomato juice. Added to that were the pieces of severed chicken, as well as a couple of thin bell pepper slices, dill and parsley leaves, finely-chopped. Salt to the taste was also added, as well as a hot pepper, to spice up the dish. Everything was simmered in water, on the cooker or on glowing embers, if the chicken-and-vegetables dish was cooked outdoors.
Ragout is a variety of the chicken and vegetables, prepared with garlic. For that, we need a chicken, several drumsticks or the lower part of the drumsticks, two onions and several garlic cloves. We also need a couple of tomatoes or tomato juice, oil, a little bit of white wine and one bay leaf. Pepper, thyme, one parsley bunch and salt are also needed for the preparation of the ragout.
Sever the chicken in appreciably large pieces. Wash and drain them, then use a pan or a tin kettle to parch them in oil. Slightly sauté the onion in oil, Julienne-cut, then add the tomatoes, cut into cubes, or the tomato juice. Also, add one thyme sprig, one bay leaf and several pepper grains. Put the sautéed onion and tomato mix in a pot. Also add the other ingredients, as well as the parched chicken. Add water or a glass of wine, if the case. Allow everything to simmer, until the sauce thickens. The ragout usually goes with a serving of polenta and pickles.
Another variety of the peasant, chicken-based dish is a manorial one, where the chicken is combined with cauliflower. To cook that, we need a chicken, a glass of cream and lemon rind. Ingredients also include several tablespoons of flour, one bunch of parsley and one head of cauliflower.
Remember that this is a manorial dish, so we need to sever the chicken in pieces and parch them in butter. Add a little bit of soup and allow it to simmer. A couple of tablespoons of flour are also parched in butter, to make the roux. Dilute the roux with a little bit of soup poured over the chicken pieces. Separate the cauliflower into florets, then put them to the boil for about half an hour, together with the chicken pieces. When boiling is about to end, sprinkle the grated lemon rind and add salt to the taste. As soon as the dish has been placed in saucers, pour a little bit of cream on top, then add minced parsley leaves.
(Translated by Eugen Nasta)