The traditional Romanian dish of răcituri (aspic), sometimes also called „piftie”, that can be made with various kinds of meat (usually pork or chicken) and lots of garlic. We generally prefer the term răcituri instead of piftie because we're from the north (the Moldova region) and piftie is used more in the south.
This dish, whatever you choose to call it, is a staple in Romanian houses on important holidays (like Christmas and Easter) and throughout the cold season.
Here it's made after my mom's recipe (by her actually, with me only as a sous-chef).
The dish may take a while to make, but it's not very complicated and the bonus is hat you have a completely authentic ethnic recipe. Which also happens to create something delicious. :)
Last year: Amaretto chocolate truffles.
Two years ago: Vanillekipferln (Austrian vanilla crescent cookies).
Three years ago: Spicy turkey fillet in coriander-tomato sauce and Butter and smoked salmon pasta.
- 1 whole chicken (1,1 kg)
- 3 large parsley roots
- 2 large carrots
- 4 gelatin satchels (9 g each, each of them designed for 500 ml)
- 1 large yellow onion (250 g)
- 1 whole garlic head
- 2 liters vegetable stock
Wash and peel (or scrub) the root veggies:
Clean and prepare the chicken:
Cut the carrot, parsley root and onion in large chunks and bring them to a boil in the vegetable stock:
After they're boiled, remove from the liquid and put aside for another use. Now put the chicken (cut into the main pieces like breast, legs etc) in the liquid and boil it until completely boiled (covered, so you don't lose too much from the liquid level). Add the crushed garlic cloves and let it simmer for 5-10 more minutes.
Remove the chicken pieces from the garlicky broth. Dissolve the gelatin in a little water and mix it in the broth. While the gelatin dissolves, pick the meat from the bones and put it in even layers in some glass dished of low height:
Pour the broth through a fine sieve on top of the meat (the sieve should retain any left-over bits and the garlic and the gelatin):
The meat should be completely covered by liquid and then a little extra. Let the racituri cool to room temperature, then transfer them in the fridge or on a balcony (if the temperature is below 5 degrees C and above 0). Let them harden and cool for at least 3-4 hours, covered.
When you're ready to serve just put pieces of aspic and meat on serving plates (like in the main picture above the ingredient list) and return the main dish to the fridge.
It's ready, dig in! :)
P.S: No need to season with extra salt and pepper if the vegetable stock is seasoned enough, but taste and decide for yourself.
P.P.S: If you don't know what to make with the boiled veggies, here's what my mom usually does in parallel with the aspic. Cut them into bite-sized pieces, add some chopped pickled cucumbers and chopped boiled potatoes (optional) and mix the whole thing with a bit of mayo, mustard and salt and pepper to taste:
And voila! It's a winter salad great on its own or as a side. Enjoy :)