I have always liked this Romanian peas and chicken stew recipe. It was often cooked by one of my grandmothers on a weekend, when my mother, sister and I would go visit. I liked that this peas and chicken stew had a slightly sweet taste, and what kid doesn’t like dessert for lunch? Of course, there isn’t any sugar in this recipe, but the peas and the tomato sauce have just enough natural sweetness that contributes to the flavour of this stew.
Romanian peas and chicken stew recipe is very easy to make, being ready in just over an hour. It requires a minimum effort, as most of the time the stew is just simmering, and you don’t have to do much.
Ingredients for the Romanian Peas and Chicken Stew Recipe
This recipe is also inexpensive, requiring just a few ingredients. Whilst my grandma used to make this recipe with drumsticks, I on the other hand chose chicken thighs because they are meatier and more consistent. Besides the meat, I also added carrots, onions, and celery, which create the base of this stew.
I used frozen peas, which I added 10 minutes before the finished dish. Frozen peas are already cooked, and only need to heat up. I don’t like them mushy, this is why I added them right at the end, just long enough for them to warm though.
The sauce is made from the chicken juices, the vegetable base, and a can of sun ripened Italian tomatoes. I recommend using high quality ingredients to achieve a better taste.
The herb that brings all the flavours of this peas and chicken stew together is the humble dill. I added a generous amount of dill at the end, after I turned the heat off, and even more when I served the dish. Dill balances that slight sweetness of the stew I was telling you about in the introduction.
I also added plenty of salt, as well as a tablespoon of paprika.
How to Make the Romanian Peas and Chicken Stew Recipe
Making the Romanian peas and chicken stew recipe is very easy. The first step is to season the chicken tights, and then brown them in a little bit of oil, until the skin becomes crispy.
I used a deep pan rather than a pot. You can use a non-stick pot as well. When the chicken is brown on all sides, add the chopped onions, carrots and celery. Mix and let everything cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften. Then, add the minced garlic, the bay leaf, and the can of chopped tomatoes. I used the same can to measure one cup of water, and put it on top. After, I added the paprika and mixed well.
I left the stew to simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Then, add the frozen peas, and bring to the boil. If you feel that the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water. Add salt to taste. I feel that this recipe requires quite a bit of salt, so I added one tablespoon in the end. After 10 minutes, turn the heat off and add the finely chopped dill. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
Serve the Romanian peas and chicken stew with rustic bread, to dip in the sauce.
Note and Tips:
- Make sure to add a lid to the pot, when you are making this Romanian peas and chicken stew. From the moment you will add the chicken in the pot, it will start splatting around. To keep the cooker and its surroundings clean, and to avoid any accidents, add a lid.
- Don’t add the paprika before you’ve added the tomato sauce. If you fry the paprika, it will get a bitter taste. It’s fine to be added whilst the sauce is simmering, but not when the vegetables are frying.
Romanian Peas and Chicken Stew Recipe
- 4 chicken thighs
- 400 gr frozen peas
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bunch dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- Heat some oil in a pan, and brown the chicken thighs. Put the lid over the pan, as the oil will splatter.
- Chop the onion, carrot and celery into cubes.
- When the skin on the chicken is nice and crispy, add the onion, carrot, and celery cubes.
- Let everything fry together on a medium heat, for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the minced garlic and the bay leaf and mix well.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and 200 ml of water.
- Add the paprika as well.
- Let everything boil for another 20 minutes.
- Add the frozen peas, and boil for 10 more minutes. I like the sauce to be quite thick, so I don’t add any extra water. If you feel it is too thick, add a little bit more water.
- Sprinkle the chopped dill on top, and turn the heat off.
- Serve hot.
How to store the Romanian peas and chicken stew?
You can store the peas and chicken stew in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to three days. Put the chicken and peas stew in the container and into the fridge only when it is completely cold.
How to reheat the Romanian peas and chicken stew?
To reheat the Romanian peas and chicken stew, add the desired quantity in a small pot, and put on the hob on a low heat. Add the lid and heat slowly, until the sauce starts to simmer. Make sure that the internal temperature of the chicken is of a minimum of 73 degrees Celsius before serving.
For more traditional Romanian recipes check out my recommendations below: