Lithuanian Stuffed Chicken Legs Recipe

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Įdarytos Vištienos Blauzdelės: Stuffed Chicken Legs

Stuffed Chicken Legs

See How To Debone Chicken Legs
On Kitchenbounty.com

Ina Radziunas, an active member and contributor on Our Mom’s Lithuanian Recipes shares fond memories of her beloved culinary mentor, Joana Bubulienė and translates her recipe for stuffed chicken legs. We are grateful to both Ina and Joana for this wonderful recipe!

Joana Bubulienė was a very well known Lithuanian cook and caterer in Toronto. Everyone would look forward to her amazing food at weddings and other functions in the Lithuanian community. In 1981 she offered to host a Lithuanian cooking course to teach us her famous traditional recipes and to share some of her culinary tips. She also included recipes for some of her most sought after contemporary dishes. It was held at the Lietuviu Namai (Lithuanian House) – traditionally referred to as the “LN”, in Toronto.

A group of us young, novice cooks took this course with her, held in the LN’s catering kitchen. When we finished, she presented each of us with our own copy of “Lietuviškų Valgių Patiekalai” (Lithuanian Food Dishes). To this day – many of us still have this cherished cookbook and follow her recipes.

Although, sadly, Ponia Bubulienė is no longer with us, her fabulous recipes live on. We still often recall how much fun we had in these classes, remembering this famous culinary tip and wonder how many of us went on to fry our bacon in butter…

Joana Bubulienė's Cookbook

Joana Bubulienė’s Cookbook

Joana Bubulienė‘s Stuffed Chicken Legs

  • 10 large chicken legs (1/2 lb each)

Debone them – but leave the skin ON. I think that skin-on, boneless chicken thighs would work well.

Salt and pepper them and refrigerate overnight or at least two hours.

Stuffing

  • 1/4 lb butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 slices white bread that have been soaked in milk, wrung out
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
A Message From Joana Bubulienė (Click For Larger View)

A Message From Joana Bubulienė
(Click For Larger View)

Melt butter and sauté onions. Combine with all the rest of the ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. Knead and make sure the ingredients are very well mixed.

Stuff deboned chicken thighs or legs with meat stuffing. Fold skin over to cover and shape nicely.

Place chicken pieces, folded side down, on a greased cooking pan. Brush with oil.

Bake 350° F for 45-60 minutes.

Note: Can bake along with pineapple slices and pitted prunes – that’s how she would serve them. Stuffed chicken legs go well with mixed vegetables and rice.

Lithuania Rye Bread Recipe

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Ruginė Duona: Lithuanian Dark Rye

Lithuanian Rye Bread (Ruginė Duona)

Lithuanian Rye Bread (Ruginė Duona)

We are pleased to present this traditional Lithuanian rye bread recipe from the kitchen of Rima Kleibaitė who was born in Vilnius, Lithuania and now resides in Toronto, Canada. Rima is an active member and contributor on Our Mom’s Lithuanian Recipes and we are honored to share her recipe!

Raugas (Starter)

  • 5 TBS rye flour
  • water, at room temperature
  • yeast (optional)

Preparation time: 3 days

In a half-liter glass jar, mix the rye flour and some room temperature water and keep it in a warm place. The consistency has to be like sour cream. Mix every 12 hours and keep it like that for three days. It will have a nice yeasty aroma and it will start to bubble. If it is not bubbling, you may add some yeast. Don’t get discouraged – just have patience.

Jar of Bubbling Starter (Raugas)

Jar of Bubbling Starter (Raugas)

After three days, you may either start the process of bread making, or put the starter in the refrigerator. If you refrigerate it, when you take it out you need to “restart” it again by adding a few tablespoons of flour and some water and then keeping it at room temperature (the warmer the better) for 12 hours.

While it is in the refrigerator the starter needs to breathe. A good idea is to punch some holes in the metal lid that goes with the jar in which you have mixed your raugas (starter).

This is the raugas in the morning after three days. The bubbles are a great indicator of how the bread will look and that the starter is working.

Rye Bread (Ruginė Duona) Base

  • 2 kg (about 5 lbs.) stone ground rye flour
  • 1 to 2 cups all purpose flour
  • water
  • 2 TBS caraway seeds, optional
  • 5 TBS sugar
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 4 tsp salt

Preparation time: 30 hours

Step 1: Pour the raugas into a bowl and add 2 TBS of rye flour. Add some lukewarm water and mix. You can use a metal or glass bowl for that since a good raugas may “climb out” of your half-liter jar. This will be the base of your bread.

Start on a Friday morning, before work, and bake it Saturday at about 2 p.m. Also, on Friday evening you must be able to mix the dough and you will need about 20 minutes for that.

Step 2: After your base has rested on the counter for 12 hours, take a very large bowl (would not suggest using plastic) and into it add 2 cups of rye flour and the caraway seeds (if you are using them).

Boil about 3 cups of water and pour over the flour and caraway seeds. Mix well using a whisk or wooden spoon. Mix it quickly and well, so there are no dry spots. Let it cool to room temperature. You can keep on mixing it to cool faster.

Step 4: Rye Flour Was Added To Base

Step 4: Rye Flour Was Added To Base

Step 3: Once this mixture from Step 2 is at room temperature, add your base and mix well. Add another two to three cups of rye flour.

Step 4: In this picture, the additional rye flour has been added to the base. You will have to use wet hands at the end to make the top nice and even.

Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel. A rolling pin can be laid over the bowl to keep the tea towel from falling into the dough.

Leave this mixture rest overnight for 12 hours in the kitchen in a warm place with no drafts.

Half way through the proofing, this is how the bread dough will look (Figure 4A).

Step 5: This is what you should see the next morning (Figure 5).

Figure 4A: Dough Proofed Halfway

Figure 4A: Dough Proofed Halfway

Step 6: IMPORTANT! At this point, before you do anything else, add to a half-liter glass container 2 – 3 TBS of this risen dough! Add 2 – 3 TBS rye flour and some lukewarm water. Mix and let sit in a warm place. This is how to produce the most important ingredient, the raugas/starter for the next time.

After the new starter has had a chance to sit for 12 hours in a warm place, place it in the refrigerator. It can stay there for a long time (up to half a year). The next time you are ready to bake bread, take the starter from the fridge, add 2 TBS of rye flour and some lukewarm water. Mix and keep it on the counter for 12 hours. It should have the consistency of sour cream. This is usually the first step that should be done a day before you plan to bake.

Step 7: In another small bowl mix 5 TBS sugar, 3 TBS honey, and 4 tsp of salt. (If you are allergic to honey, omit it and use more sugar). Add some hot water to help with mixing it. When the mixture is not hot anymore, pour it into the bowl with the risen dough.

Figure 5:  Rye Dough Proofed Overnight

Figure 5: Rye Dough Proofed Overnight

Step 8: Add another 3 cups of rye flour and 1 cup of regular all purpose white flour. Mix it all very well. If it gets too hard to mix with a wooden spoon, ask someone to help you, or wet your hands and mix with your hands. This flour is extremely sticky.

TIP: before putting your hands into the dough, get the baking pan ready. You will need a 9″ by 12″ pan lined with parchment paper.

Mixed all of the ingredients well; wet your hands and place the dough into parchment lined baking pan. Keep wetting your hands and make the top nice and even. You may rub some oil on top of the dough to prevent it from drying. It also gives the crust a glossy look.

Step 9:  Proofed And Ready To Bake

Step 9: Proofed And Ready To Bake

Let bread dough rise for another four hours. In the winter or in an air-conditioned place, it might have to be left to rise overnight.

Step 9: Here the bread has risen nicely and is ready to be baked.

Step 10: Bake for the first 10 minutes at 400° F, then turn down the oven temperature to 350°. Bake time will vary with loaf size — usually 55 minutes to an hour. After 45 to 50 minutes, check the bread with a toothpick and also knock on the bottom of the loaf after lifting it from the pan with the parchment paper just slightly. If the sound is nice and clear, it is ready.

Step 11: SKANAUS – ENJOY!