We found this to be a very tasty dish, with a subtle kind of tang. Much more to it than I expected from the simple recipe. Next time, I might increase the seasonings and the vegetables even more.
There was one dissenting voice. My mother. I froze a single serving and delivered it to her the next week. She never mentioned it, so I finally asked.
She didn't mince words. "Not good."
"It wasn't like a soup."
I explained that it wasn't supposed to be a soup. More like a ragout. But she recalled that veal soup of her childhood. And she didn't like the little chicken bones she discovered.
(I'm still waiting for her verdict on the žganci!)
Chicken Ajmoht (chicken ragout, kurji ajmoht, obara)
2+ lbs. chicken breasts, with bone and skin, cut up
2 T. olive oil
2 quarts water (about)
2 ribs celery, chopped
½ onion, chopped
4 T. fresh parsley, minced
1 T. fresh marjoram, minced
roux: 2 ½ T. flour, 2 ½ T olive oil and butter mixed
salt and pepper to taste
white wine vinegar to taste
Heat oil in a dutch oven and add onion and celery. Brown vegetables. Add chicken and seasonings and continue to brown Add water to cover and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes or until tender. In a separate pan, make a roux, cooked to medium brown. Add to the pot and stir well. Add remaining water, white wine vinegar, and adjust seasonings. Simmer about 15 minutes more. Sprinkle with additional parsley. Serve with dumplings, noodles, or (if you dare!) žganci.
A word about roux: None of my vintage cookbooks belabor the process, because it is so fundamental. You heat shortening of your choice ("oleo or fat" was the original in this recipe.) Then you stir in flour and keep stirring as it browns. We figured that the final color should be browner than a pale American cream sauce, but not quite the deep brown of a Louisiana roux.
Full disclosure: I put my husband in charge of making the roux. He is locally famous for his Louisiana gumbo, so I knew he would do it right.
Besides, at that point in the proceedings, I needed all the help I could get. I was elbow deep in the žganci.
Update: Almost a year later, I made a second attempt at this tasty dish, with a few more vegetables and a splash of red wine. Curious? Take a look at my Chicken Ajmoht II recipe!