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Ostropel (Romanian Chicken Stew)

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Ostropel (Romanian Chicken Stew)

A chicken stew from Romania consisting of bone-in chicken pieces simmered in a tomato sauce and served with polenta.

Ostropel (Romanian Chicken Stew) recipe

servings: 4

total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

recipe by: 


  • STEW:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (thighs and legs)
  • 1 TBSP plus 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP plus 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped small
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter


  1. STEW:

  2. Add the flour to a shallow bowl and mix with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

  3. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture then shake off any excess flour and set the chicken pieces aside on a plate.

  4. Melt 1 TBSP of butter with 1 TBSP oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.

  5. Add about half the chicken pieces to the pan and cook until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side.

  6. Transfer the browned chicken to a plate. Add the remaining oil and butter to the pan and brown the remaining chicken pieces the same way.

  7. When the chicken is browned and out of the pan add the onion to the pan keeping it over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

  8. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, thyme, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook while breaking up the tomatoes for about 5 minutes.

  9. Place the chicken pieces back in the pan along with the bay leaves and reduce the heat to medium-low. Place a lid on the pan and simmer over medium-low heat for about 25 minutes.

  10. Remove the lid and continue to simmer over medium-low heat until sauce is thickened a bit and chicken is cooked through, about 15 more minutes.

  11. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste then take the pan off the heat and set aside while you make the polenta.

  12. POLENTA:

  13. In a medium size saucepan bring the water, milk, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to a boil over medium-high heat.

  14. Reduce heat to low and SLOWLY stir in the cornmeal. Cook while stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes.

  15. Stir in the butter until melted and well combined. Take off the heat and season with salt & pepper to taste.


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Ostropel (Romanian Chicken Stew)


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