Manja is traditional Gagauz (Turkish) dish. Chicken and vegetables are browned then cooked in gravy with tomato paste, paprika, cumin and garlic. Serve with mashed potatoes or simply with fresh baked bread, just like my grandmother used to do.
2 lb. chicken with bone, organic (I used 1/2 chicken)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 carrot, grated
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
4 cups chicken stock or water
1 Tbsp. fresh dill -finely chopped
Cut chicken into pieces; season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan on medium high heat; add meat to hot pan and fry on 1 side for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown, and then use tongs to turn the pieces over and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
Take the chicken out and set aside. To the same pan where you fried chicken, add onions, garlic and carrots; sauté for about 4 minutes; mix in tomato paste, paprika and cumin; add flour and mix well so all the vegetables will get coated with flour; cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add chicken broth and stir until smooth and thickened. When gravy is thickened and became smooth add the chicken.
Bring the sauce to a boil; reduce the heat down to low; cover the pot and cook on low heat for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh dill. Serve with mashed potatoes, or with your favorite pasta, I recommend, cavatelli, ravioli, spaghetti or ziti, or simply with fresh baked bread, just like my grandmother used to do.