Autumn is wholeheartedly upon us. October, has been and gone. Now, nestling comfortably into the second week of November, I have a long-promised treat to share with you: a new, sneak-peek recipe from A Gothic Cookbook.
On this day, 1847, Mr Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker erupted into existence, in Dublin, Ireland. Synonymous with the gothic, Stoker is most famous for his eternal vampire story. Just like its eponymous creature, the tale of Dracula has lived many lives since Bram first released it into the world in 1897.
In celebration of Bram’s birthday today, I am delighted to share with you a feast brought to life from the pages of Stoker’s eternal vampire story. Tried, tested, and photographed by yours truly, here it is: Mina’s Paprika Hendl, in the words of A Gothic Cookbook.
“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.”Bram Stoker
𝕸𝖎𝖓𝖆’𝖘 𝕻𝖆𝖕𝖗𝖎𝖐𝖆 𝕳𝖊𝖓𝖉𝖑
Unlike Dracula’s cold cuts, this traditional Hungarian dish – also known as Paprika Hendl – is a warm welcome in a bowl, thick, rich and shot through with the subtle smokiness of paprika.
Serve the pink-sauced stew spooned over ribbons of black tagliatelle – usually coloured by squid ink or activated charcoal – for full Gothic effect. It’ll taste just as lovely accompanied by noodles, potatoes or rice, though. Or simply eat it with a spoon, perhaps with some chunky bread to mop up the sauce.
For a vegetarian version, try roasting squash and mushrooms and add to trepan in place of the chicken after step 2, simmering for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is nicely reduced.
Make it a dairy-free or vegan dish by substituting a nut butter and cashew cream.
2 tbsp olive oil
500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, sliced into fine strips
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or minced
1 red pepper, sliced into fine strips
3 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
350ml of chicken or vegetable stock
150ml sour cream
Black tagliatelle, to serve (optional)
[Generally Gothic:] I used less oil, no butter, chicken breasts instead of thighs, set yoghurt instead of sour cream, and have served on mashed potatoes and with sourdough bread. Like a good recipe should, it stood up to the challenge of slight alteration!
1. Gently heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or stewpot and add the chicken, cooking for around 4-5 minutes on each side to brown. Remove and set aside.
2. Using the same pan, reduce heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the onion, garlic and pepper, cooking for a minute before adding the paprika.
3. Return the chicken to the pan, add the tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes before adding the stock. Bring back to a simmer, cover and cook on a low-medium heat for around half an hour, until the chicken is tender and the sauce is nicely reduced. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to packet instructions.
4. Combine a few ladlefuls of the sauce with the sour cream, then add back to the pan, stirring gently. Continue cooking until heated through, and serve over the pasta – or your chosen accompaniment.
If you try this recipe, and I really recommend that you do, share your photos with me & A Gothic Cookbook over on Instagram – we’d love to see your creations! If like me, you cook up a feast and are keen for more, you can support A Gothic Cookbook and make it a full, physical reality. Instead of a purchase, at Unbound, you place a pledge, which is essentially a pre-order.
Want more Dracula? You can continue reading with a review of the 2020 BBC adaptation or a look at possible real-life inspiration for the bloody-thirsty beast.
And if you would like to support me in this unfunded, blood-thirsty work, please consider making a blood sacrifice. Thank you.