Dracula by Bram Stoker

30 Oct

“We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here we stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up in some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina). I asked the waiter, and he said it was called “paprika hendl” and that, as it was a national dish, I should be able to get it anywhere along the Carpathians.”

Chapter 1: Jonathan Harker’s Journal

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Happy Halloween! (or, Halloween Eve).

Here’s a great recipe to curl up with after shuttling your little goblins and ghouls up and down the neighborhood in search of the elusive full-size-candy-bar-giving-out-house. Our little one is going to be a ladybug this year; and since she’s too little to gum herself a Snickers, I plan to just go ahead and take one for the team and finish her candy for her; like the selfish selfless mama that I am.

Dracula is the 1897 gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker; and it is a welcome refresh from some well…more sparklier and teen-angst filled versions of the genre. Its a fantastically spooky read; and if you want to go ahead and picture Gary Oldman as the Count while you read, well, don’t worry; you won’t be the only one.

My favorite character in Dracula (and one of my favorites in all of literature) is Mrs. Mina Harker. What a heroine! Described as having a “man’s brain”, she is definitely binder-worthy. She earns her own income prior to marriage and is well educated. She keeps up with her husband’s law studies at night for the fun of it, after working all day. For the fun of it, people. Both she and her opinion were respected and valued.

Also, Quincy Morris? Aw yeah, he’s an American all right! Me likey.

So, onto our recipe then. 

I went about internet sleuthing (my favorite way to sleuth) to determine exactly what paprika hendl was, and compared German, Romanian and Hungarian chicken dishes. I think this is probably a fair representation of what J.H. dined on on his way to Castle Dracula. This dish is warm, comforting and heavy on the garlic; which are all good things, especially if you are on your way to chat London real estate with the undead.

Jonathan Harker’s Paprika Hendl

What you’ll need:

  • Chicken with skin-on: 2 wings, 2 legs, 2 things (or some other combo you like)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 24 oz. tomato puree
  • 6 oz. sour cream
  • 5 tablespoons Hungarian Sweet Paprika (I recommend Penzey’s Spices)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you’ll do:

  1. Brown the chicken in a deep skillet under the fat begins to render; then remove from the skillet and remove remaining skin. Set chicken aside.
  2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute or two. Remove skillet from heat and stir in paprika. The paprika will darker and release some oil – this is what we want!
  3. Add the tomato puree, bring to a simmer. Add the chicken back in, cover and cook for about 30-40 minutes (until chicken is cooked). 
  4. Remove from heat, fold in majority of the sour cream – reserve several spoonfuls for garnish – and serve over egg noodles, dumplings or potatoes. Top with a spoon of sour cream and dig in.

 

The onions, garlic and paprika, melting together…..

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