People often ask me what “Moldovian food” is. This is a pretty difficult question to answer since I’ve figured out that it is truly a mishmash of Romanian, Ukranian and Russian food. Growing up, my family would often get together for meals and I always assumed that what we were eating was just “Moldovian food”. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve figured out that so much of what I eat is actually Romanian or Ukranian. I usually make a list for people that includes “chicken jello” (trust me, you don’t want to know…its actual name is Halodets), “Olivier salad” (the Eastern European version of potato salad), and “pirozhki” (post on these will happen very soon as they are one of my favorite foods in the world).
Ghiveci is usually on this list as well. This ‘chicken ghiveci’ is a Romanian dish that I absolutely love. It can be made vegetarian just by excluding the chicken (and still tastes great). It’s a very good dish for cleaning out your refrigerator as you can throw pretty much any vegetable into it. Warm and very similar to a vegetable/chicken stew, for me, this is truly comfort food.
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 mild onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast
6 Tbsp tomato paste
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 carrots, cut into chunks
1/2 small celeriac, cut into chunks
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 zucchini sliced
salt and black pepper
Heath the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the onion and garlic andcook for 1-2 minutes, until soft.
Add the chopped red peppers
Cut the chicken into 1-2 inch cube, place in the casserole and brown on all sides.
after 15 minutes, add the tomato paste, potatoes, herbs, carrots, celeriac and white wine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook over low heat, covered for another 40-50 min.
Add zucchini slices 5 min before end of cooking. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Serve with dark rye bred.
Source: Adapted from: Russian, German & Polish Food & Cooking