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Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew

by Adina 30/09/2015 8 comments

I remember my grandmother podding peas when I was a child. For some reason I do not know, she used to do that in the living room, sitting in her red armchair, and not in the kitchen. I assume she preferred to sit for such a long time in a more comfortable armchair instead of the kitchen chair. I never asked and now it is too late for that. I also remember me helping her with podding when I was still a child. As I turned into a teenager my interest in anything domestic radically reduced, so I stopped helping but “mazare cu pui”, pea and chicken stew remained one of my favorite meals.

Actually it didn’t even have to have chicken inside. I remember my grandma sometimes saying that she couldn’t cook this because she couldn’t afford buying chicken. And I always said that that didn’t matter, I liked the pea stew with or without the chicken.

pea chicken stew romanian Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew

The pea podding times are long gone now. Not because I wouldn’t like to do it sometimes, it is because I haven’t seen any peas in the pods since I left Romania. In Germany they only seem to come frozen or in cans. Maybe in the big cities, at the market, I might be able to find some, but as the next somewhat larger town is 60 km away from us, you understand that I never think of driving there just in the hope of finding fresh peas.

But luckily I love the frozen peas. I always have a bag in the freezer and I use them a lot, not only to make this stew, but also for all kinds of soups, stews, stir-fries or side dishes, you name it, when I don’t know what else to throw in a pot, I always end up with adding a handful of peas.

I never asked my grandmother for the recipe either, I have a lot of her recipes but not this one. But fortunately my aunt makes her peas apparently the same way, they taste just like they used to do. So I am using her recipe now. The only difference is that she prefers to fry her chicken legs separately. I use either chicken meat from a chicken used to make soup or chicken breast pieces which I cook briefly together with the peas.

pea and chicken stew Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew

Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew

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Serves: 4

peas and chicken stew Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 very heaped tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 kg/ 2.2 pounds frozen peas
  • vegetable or chicken broth to barely cover the peas in the pot
  • 450 g/ 1 pound chicken breast (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • a bunch of fresh dill or chopped frozen dill
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pot. Chop the onion finely and cook until translucent. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute.
  2. Add the frozen peas to the pot, cover barely with vegetable or chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  3. In the meantime chop the chicken breasts into small cubes. Add them to the pan and cook everything for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Don't overcook the chicken.
  4. Mix the corn starch with a few tablespoons of cold water to obtain a paste. Make a little place in the middle of the pan by pushing the peas away as much as possible and pour the corn starch paste in a thin stream while whisking all the time with a small whisk.
  5. Stir everything very well and let bubble for 1 minute. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and maybe some sugar. Add the finely chopped dill.
  6. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Notes
You can use the meat from one chicken cooked to make broth. In this case, chop it into small cubes and add it during the last minutes of cooking, it just needs to be heated up.

peas chicken stew Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew

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8 comments

Roland 30/09/2015 - 08:46

Heho sweetheart, my mouth is watering. When will you make this great dish again? With mashed potatoes, please.

Reply
Adina 30/09/2015 - 11:05

Soon, soon. Have some breakfast in the meantime. 🙂

Reply
Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen 30/09/2015 - 12:36

I can also visualize my grandmother podding peas in living room. This pea chicken stew looks so comfy and so DE-LICIOUS. Loving this, Adina!

Reply
Adina 30/09/2015 - 20:01

Maybe the living room IS the only place for podding peas, we just don’t know, because we never have to do it. 🙂

Reply
Willow | Will Cook For Friends 04/10/2015 - 03:34

This stew looks so warm and comforting! I have the same trouble finding peas in their pod here in the US, though I know some places do carry them. I am a huge fan of frozen peas, though — I know they aren’t quite as good as fresh, but they are still so good, and I use them all the time. When I was a kid my mom grew peas in the garden, and I remember sitting in the living room podding them in front of the tv to pass the time. Funny your grandmother sat in the living room to pod, too!

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Adina 04/10/2015 - 08:24

So there are three of us now remembering their mothers/grandmothers plodding peas in the living room ?. If i’d ever had to pod peas now, I’d never consider doing it anywhere else.

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lui 20/12/2018 - 18:30

What can I use instead of dill??Thank you!!

Reply
Adina 21/12/2018 - 08:36

Hi. Dill is the best in this dish, but you can use parsley instead. A different flavor, but still good.

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