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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mâncare de gutui cu pui (Chicken and quince stew) (Romanian)

This is a stove-top stew of chicken breast fillet and quince slices covered in a caramelized syrup. It's not as sweet as it sounds and still qualifies as a savory stew, but the flavor the quince can impart onto anything is absolutely delicious and makes the dish special. Other Eastern-bound cuisines feature the combination between meat and quinces also, even if in the Western parts of the world this fruit is used mainly in desserts. Try it and be pleasantly surprised. 

Recipe source: here and from my memories of other versions I've had in friends' homes. My mother only made this dish once or twice (it's not really our fave), but she knows it well also, because my grandmother used to make it quite often. :)

Last year: Pink grapefruit carpaccio with honey and cinnamon (raw vegan).
Two years ago: Frangipane tart with kiwi and starfruit (Italian).
Three years ago: Creme brulee (French).
Four years ago: Simple chocolate brownies with walnutsCorn tortillas without masa harina (experiment) and Huevos rancheros (Mexican).

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 small quince
  • a few tablespoons water
  • 2 pieces of chicken (I used breast fillet)
  • some oil to fry
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • some fresh parsley to serve (optional)

Wash the quince well and cut it into quarters. Remove its center and then slice it into thin slices (0.5 cm). Put the slices in a pan, together with 1 tablespoon of butter and the water. 

Also add salt and pepper. Cook them on low heat, covered, and turning them once in a while, until softened and fragrant (about 10-15 minutes). Careful not to break them. Remove them onto a plate once they're done.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and fry it in the oil, until golden and done on both sides. Slice it partially, then keep warm until serving. 
Meanwhile, in a small pan, melt the sugar until golden, then remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the chicken stock. Mix well, season with extra salt and pepper if you'd like, then pour it over the quince slices:

Add a piece of fried chicken breast to each plate and garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if you'd like. It's done, dig in! :)

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