Hen stuffed with cabbage and groats | Salad of peppers and eggplants

In the Bulgarian folk calendar, the Day of Saint Dimitri is connected with a turn of seasons - it marks the beginning of winter. According to the popular beliefs, the sky opens up at midnight before Saint Dimitriís Day. From this day on the first snow is expected too. Saint Dimitri is considered to be the patron of winter, frost and snow. October 26 is the last day of a traditional period (beginning from St. Georgeís Day and concluding with St. Dimitriís Day) for seasonal workers - shepherds, farm hands, etc. Therefore, this day has also been known as Razpous (Dismissal).

Various poultry and vegetable dishes are usually prepared as festive food on St. Dimitriís Day. We have chosen to present here an original dish from the village of Gorni Dabnik.

  • 1 hen with the giblets
  • 1 kg cabbage
  • 200 g groats
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 10 g red pepper
  • mint
  • salt
    Clean up, wash and salt the hen. Stew the chopped cabbage, the giblets and the groats in half of the overall amount of vegetable oil.

    Add the red pepper and the minced mint. Pour hot water into the mixture and leave it to boil for 10 minutes or so until the cabbage gets mellow.

    Fill the hen with this stuff and sew it up. Put the rest of the vegetable oil and the hen in a baking dish.

    Roast on a moderate oven. Add water now and then in order to prevent the meat  from getting dry.

    Any kind of fresh or pickled vegetable salads may be served with the stuffed hen.
    But your family or guests will be delighted to taste a salad of peppers and eggplants traditionally prepared in the town of Vidin and its neighbourhood.

    • 2 eggplants
    • 8 green peppers
    • 4 tomatoes
    • 50 g walnut kernels
    • 50 ml vegetable oil
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • half a bunch of parsley
    • salt
    • vinegar
    Roast the eggplants and the peppers on a quick oven. Their taste will be finer, if you roast them on fire. Then peel them and cut them into small pieces.

    Add the ground walnut kernels and crushed garlic, and season with some of the vegetable oil, the vinegar and the salt. Mix well  and put the mixture in the serving dish.

    Arrange the thinly sliced tomatoes on top.

    Sprinkle the cut up parsley and pour the remaining vegetable oil on them.

    This is an excellent autumn salad which can be offered as an appetizer preceding  the main course. Do not serve it, however, to people with diseased kidneys, for eggplants are harmful food in such case.

1. Petrov, L., E. Yordanov, S. Uzunova, N. Dzhelepov. Bulgarian Cuisine. Sofia: Zemizdat, 1984.
2. Marinov, D. Folk Beliefs and Religious Customs. 1981.
3. Popov, R.  Twin Saints in the Bulgarian Folk Calendar. Sofia, 1991.