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- Aspic or meat jelly – famous Slavic Dish!
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This dish is very popular in Slavic countries. I have never seen it being cooked in the US, but I know that in European
countries is’s still quite popular.
Historically, meat jellies were made before fruit and vegetable jellies. By the Middle Ages at the latest, cooks had discovered that a thickened meat broth could be made into a jelly. A detailed recipe for aspic is found in Le Viandier, written in or around 1375.
In Poland, (known as “galareta”), in Russia and Ukraine (known as “kholodets’”), in Serbia (known as “pihtije”), and in Romania (known as “piftie”) aspic often takes the form of pork jelly, and it is popular around the Christmas and Easter Holidays.Any way how you call it it is really god and simple to cook, your family will be surprised by the new dish and it is very delicious when served with horseradish or Dijon mustard.I cook it with gelatin, but my grandma cooks it without gelatin just boils a nice thick broth with chicken feet and/or pig feet.
This Christmas I cooked it just with chicken thighs and added gelatin as I didn’t have time to cook broth for a long time.
For the dish you will need:
1 lb chicken feet(optional, long to cook but delicious)
1 lb pig feet (optional long to cook)
1 lb of chicken meat (breast, thighs,etc)
8 cups of water
2 boiled carrots
3 envelopes (packets of gelatin)
2 -3 teaspoons of salt (but taste the broth, because to me 2 teaspoons are fine)
Cook the broth with 6 cups of water, salt , freshly ground pepper (you can add some herbs, garlic and celery if you like). Depending on if you are using the chicken and pig feet, cook the broth between 30 minutes and 3 hours:-)
When the broth is ready take out the meat, let it cool. Gradually mix gelatin in 2 cups of water. Do it slowly and step by step, so that your gelatin wouldn’t turn into one massive gelatin ball:-) Let your gelatin stand for 1 hour until it dissolves into the water stir the water occasionally. (the water should be room temperature) (If you are using chicken and pig feet use less gelatin- 1-2 packets. As you wish, generally, just I like using more gelatin because it’s less trouble). And by the way gelatin appears to be very useful for our body and health. It’s considered that gelatin promotes joint health and triggers human growth hormone. Although I didn’t find any scientific proof to it so far I am planning to look more carefully into this matter. Meanwhile let’s just enjoy the food.
After 1 hour passed take you broth mix it with gelatin and heat it at the medium heat until it starts slightly boil. Mix the gelatin broth mixture all the time.
By this time boil the eggs and a carrot. peel the carrot and slice it. Shell the eggs and cut the in halves.
Now the meat: choose which meat you are planning to use in your aspic.
If you are using whole chicken feet fine, I never use them neither I use pig feet. I chop the chicken breast or take the chicken meat off the bones (if I use drumsticks or thighs) and then chop them.
When you chopped the meat take the dishes that you will use for your aspic. Now in Ukraine we don’t turn it over like a cake and serve it in a dish just as you see. In some over European countries the cooks do. It’s up to you yo decide.
Put the meat as the first layer in your dish then add carrot and herbs and the eggs. Pour in the broth and let it cool of a little bit outside of the fridge. Then put the aspic in a fridge for the night.
When the aspic is firm like jelly cut it in cubes, just in the dish and serve in a dish.
Don’t forget to serve it with Dijon mustard or horseradish.