Continental part of Croatia is familiar with the term “stew”, and Istria has a different one – žgvacet. Sauce deriving from sauteing chicken, with tomato and malvazija wine go splendidly with Istrian pasta fuži or polenta, depending on which part of Istria you are.
I got this family recipe from my dear friend Tamara whose mother has been preparing it for years, and as she says, according to approximate measures.
100 ml (3.40 fl oz) olive oil
2 onions (300 g/10.5 oz)
1 teaspoon flour
150 ml (5.10 fl oz) malvazija wine
400 g (14 oz) pelati
½ a sprig parsley
several basil leaves
several marjoram leaves
Carve the hen to smaller pieces, add salt and pepper. Put them on oil and fry on both sides for the meat to get the colour. Remove it from the pan and put someplace warm.
Add finely chopped onion. When it softens a bit, add teaspoon of flour and constantly stirring pour the wine. After the wine evaporates a bit, add cut pelati and return the meat.
Pour with water so that the meat is covered in liquid (about 700 ml). Lower the fire and cook on low heat until the meat completely softens. At the end of cooking add herbs and leave on fire for a few more minutes.
Serve “žgvacet” with fuži or polenta.