Friday, 6 March 2009

Dracula question 2

Another reader, Andrew, writes:

'I know it may sound crazy, of all things to ask this is probaly a little out there. But there is a recipe for some type of paprkia chicken I do believe in the Annoted Dracula, is there any way you could email me the recipe?'

Perhaps not so crazy after all. In my youth I tried cooking this dish for a dinner in the company of other people interested in Dracula and vampires. Well, I didn't have so much experience in preparing food back then, but I knew about the recipe from Leonard Wolf's The Annotated Dracula.

The dish is referred to at the very beginning of the novel:

'We left in pretty good time, and came after nightfall to Klausenburgh. Here I stopped for the night at the Hotel Royale. I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up 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.'

Clive Leatherdale says that the dish is described in two of the books mentioned in Stoker's list (see my preceding post). Leslie Klinger mentions a modern lower-cholesterol version in his The New Annotated Dracula, and you can no doubt find numerous recipes on the internet, like this one and even this, both with reference to Dracula.

The one quoted by Leonard Wolf is from a book called The Art of Viennese Cooking by Marcia Colman Morton:

'PAPRIKA CHICKEN (Paprikahendl)

1 young fowl, about 4 pounds
2 tablespoons fat
2 large onions, chopped
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
½ cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup sour cream

Cut chicken into serving pieces, and salt. Lightly brown onions in fat. Blend in half the paprika. Add tomato juice and chicken. Simmer, covered, 1 hour or until tender. Remove chicken. Add remaining paprika to sauce, then add the flour beaten into sour cream. Simmer, stirring, 5 minutes or until well blended. Put sauce through sieve, food mill or blender. Heat chicken and puréed sauce together over low flame. Arrange chicken on warm platter. Pur half the sauce over, pass the rest separately in a sauceboat. Serve with Flour Dumplings.
6 servings'

1 comment:

Nicolas Barbano said...

I was among the lucky guests who enjoyed Niels’ paprikahendl-dinner all those years ago, and even though he may have been an inexperienced cook, the meal tasted terrific and the whole event was an unforgettably positive experience.

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