CHICKEN CHURCH
10 OCTOBER
(THE SATURDAY BEFORE PETKOVDEN - SAINT PARASKEVAíS DAY)

HEN WITH GROATS

This day was celebrated with great festivites in the Bulgarian villages. A fire was made under a large cauldron in which the meat was boiled, and each housewife would bring a hen, onions, butter and other products for the stew. The Chicken Church stew was prepared by the field-keepers. The women were supposed to bring the bread, the wine, the table cloth and the kitchen utensils and cutlery. The festive dinner meal would begin only after the priest had incensed the dishes. Before that each housewife would hand out a piece of bread in honour of the Holy Ghost.

A typical Bulgarian dish prepared on this festive day was the hen stew. It can be cooked in different ways, but when prepared with groats, its taste is most delicious. We offer you an original old-time recipe for making this meal.
 



 
HEN WITH GROATS
Ingredients
  • 1 hen
  • 1 teacupful of groats
  • 2 onions
  • 1 coffeecupful of melted lard
  • 1 coffeecupful of vegetable oil
  • 3 red tomatoes
  • 10 pepper corns
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoonful of red pepper
Directions:
    Cut up a hen into portions and stew them in the grease and a small quantity of water.

    After about 15 minutes add the onions, finely chopped up. When the onions get rosy, spice them with the red pepper and add salt to your taste.

    Mix well and pour some hot water to cover the products. Put the lid on and let the dish stew on a medium fire.

    As soon as the meat grows tender, add the groats and the pepper. Stew the products on a moderate temperature for a quarter of an hour. Then add the tomatoes, peeled and grated beforehand. Stew the meat to turn.

    Serve the dish hot. Red wine goes best with this meal. The wine should be served at room temperature, so its unique flavour can be fully felt.

    Dried or candied fruit are a suitable sweet to offer after this main course.

 

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SOURCES OF REFERENCE:
Mantov, Dimiter. Folk Dishes from St. Dimitriís Day to St. Georgeís Day. Svetulka 44 Publishing House, Sofia, 1997.