For those of you reading, this is one of our classic family recipes. My grandmother from Romania makes this usually with chunks of meat inside but for the purpose of creating something a bit healthier, I chose to go with my aunts recipe by using ground chicken. I love these, they are so good. Light and easy to eat but yet full of flavor and a classic russian go-to meal. Best served with a dollop of sour cream, these are also great to freeze and reheat later!
Golubtsi – Stuffed Cabbage with Chicken and Rice
1 large head of green cabbage, boiled to soften
1 cup of white or brown rice, cooked
1 lb ground chicken
1 onion, diced
1-2 carrots, cleaned and grated
2 spoonfuls of tomato paste for onion/carrot mixture, 1 spoonful for later simmering
1 handful of fresh dill, chopped
1 bottle of v8 vegetable/tomato juice flavored with black pepper
Salt to taste
Cook rice according to package instructions or until just about done. Set aside in a large bowl. Cut off the butt of the cabbage and In a large pot, fill water just enough to get a good boil going and soften the cabbage in the pot. Boil for about 15 minutes or until cabbage is softened. You can also do this by putting cabbage in the freezer overnight, and then taking it out and it will be soft to use the next day. For the stuffing rice/chicken mixture, In a deep pan, saute diced carrots and onions until soft/translucent (about 5 mins). Add the onion/carrot mixture to the rice in the large bowl that was set aside. In the same pan, cook ground chicken and break up into small pieces as it’s cooking. Add to the large bowl. Add dill and tomato paste to the mixture of chicken, onion/carrot, and rice. Mix and add salt. To assemble the Golubtsi, see photos for help. Start by placing 1-2 cabbage cups into the bottom of the deep pan to act as a cushion. Remove each cabbage cup carefully from the head of cabbage (careful not to rip), add about 1-2 tbsp of rice mixture and wrap each like a burrito. Place into the pan, seam side down. Stack the Golubtsi on top of each other if you run out of space. To finish, cover them with about 1-2 cups of v8 and about 1 spoonful of tomato paste. Add water to cover more if you need, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt on top. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream and enjoy!