Răcituri is a very traditional Moldovan dish, but one that I am not willing to eat. I have never been a fan of cold meant unless it’s deli meat, and as răcituri is served cold, I just can’t get into it. The natural gelatin found in the rooster’s bones makes this dish what it is. It is basically boiled for several hours and cooled for several hours, allowing the gelatin to set. No thank you. Just in case there is someone who wants to try it, here you go!

1 rooster
1 large carrot
2 onions
2 bay leaves

Kill, clean, and cut up your rooster, keeping all the bones connected to the meat. Put all the pieces into a big pot of water, place it on a burner on high, and wait for it to boil (takes a long time). Just in case you have recently killed a pig, you could also add a couple of pieces of pig fat to the pot.

Peel the carrot and chop the onions.

When it starts to boil and even before, you will notice foam coming to the top. Scoop it off with a spoon and feed it to the pigs. After boiling for 3-4 minutes, turn it down to low.

Add the carrot, onions, salt, pepper, and two bay leaves. The amount of time it needs to cook depends on the rooster. Generally you want to leave it on the burner for 4 hours. An older rooster might take more time, and a younger one might take less. Turn the burner off and let it cool for 4-5 hours.

After it has cooled, scoop all the fat off the top with a spoon, and place the meat and carrot in a separate bowl. Drain the liquid with a ladle, counting how many spoonfuls you drain. Using a cheese cloth instead of a colander is best because even the smallest colander will let in too much.

Set out several bowls and place at least two pieces of meat in each bowl (The number of spoonfuls divided by 2 is roughly how many plates you need.). Using the ladle, scoop the liquid into the bowls covering at least half of the meat.

Thinly slice the carrots or make whatever design you want with them and add them to the liquid. Make sure it is “frumos”, because if it isn’t it cannot be called a Moldovan dish. Transfer the plates to the refrigerator for several hours if not overnight. The liquid will set and become gelatin.

Pofta Bună!