Dracula’s Chicken

Not that Dracula is a chicken, or that Dracula had a preferred chicken dish, but that a chicken dish did appear rather famously in a novel more associated with the principal ingredient of black pudding.

@tartapplesauce​ mentions it here, and the quote from Jonathan Harker’s diary in Stoker’s novel is…

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. I found my smattering of German very useful here; indeed, I don’t know how I should be able to get on without it.

Hendl” is Austrian German for “chicken” (rather than German German “Huhn” or “Hähnchen”) which is correct for being in the eastern reaches of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The dish - AKA “Chicken Paprikash” - is still very popular today…

…but it’s easy to make at home, and since every Granny, Nana, Oma or Nadyi makes the best one, there’s no fixed recipe. Here’s an excellent version with background info from Foods of the World.

Chicken Paprikash / Paprika Hendl / Paprikás csirke is usually a creamy casserole served with Spaetzle / Galuska / Csipetke tossed in butter (often called ”noodles”, equally often “dumplings”) while the delicate green stuff in this photo is sliced pickled cucumber as a palate-cleanser to counter all that richness.

However, I also found this treatment: Paprikahendl vom Spiess is a whole chicken sprinkled with lemon juice and beer, rubbed all over with paprika…

…then put on a spit, which seems appropriate for Vlad the Impaler.

And finally, there’s Mr Harker’s journal again:

There are many odd things to put down, and, lest who reads them may fancy that I dined too well before I left Bistritz, let me put down my dinner exactly. I dined on what they called ‘robber steak’—bits of bacon, onion, and beef, seasoned with red pepper, and strung on sticks, and roasted over the fire, in the simple style of the London cat’s meat!

This Victorian illustration - look at the barrow contents - shows the sort of pet-food Harker was thinking about:

“Bistriz” is Bistrița in Transylvania, so he was probably eating frigărui , the Romanian version of kebabs.

Make them for a party, call them stakes not steak, and season well with extra garlic for that quiet guest who does not drink…wine.

Jon: the world benefit greatly from the cease of your insistent banter


oh man guys it’s so hot right now in southern california. Like no cloud in the sky, sun high and blazing, it’s barely 7 am and it’s already 80 degrees Fahrenheit, kind of heat. It’s beginning. 


And tomorrow we’re hitting triple digits *cries*

I hate summer.  What does this heat benefit? you can’t do anything comfortable outside unless you wanna burn, your garden plants get cooked, your poor pets get overheated, traffic becomes more hellish than regular. *sigh*

At least it “cools” down somewhat around 5pm ( the breeze starts kicking in and thankfully not a too hot one). I should enjoy this before real summer heat hits.

At least i have good heat tolerance, but i still hate it.