Varna-Style Braised Chicken (Bulgarian Dish)

Total Time
1hr 19mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 9 mins

This is a popular Balkan chicken dish smothered in rich, herby, sherry tomato sauce with mushrooms that we love having at home. (Edited: moved garlic cloves and onions to include under "For the sauce" to coincide with procedure as spotted by KateL. No actual change to recipe has been made.)

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius.
  2. heat oil and butter in wok, and in the meantime season chicken with salt, pepper and thyme.
  3. add the seasoned chicken pieces to the wok and brown at all sides.
  4. place the cooked chicken in a casserole dish and set aside.
  5. For the sauce:.
  6. stir fry garlic and onions approximately 2-3 mins until soft, adding the rest of the sauce ingredients except mushrooms.
  7. bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add the mushrooms.
  8. Pour sauce over chicken, cover and bake for 1hr hour, or until cooked thoroughly.
  9. garnish with basil or thyme and serve.
Most Helpful

Quite the tasty recipe without having to use much salt- the sauce definitely carries the dish well. I did everything in a single wok so I could get the tasty brown bits from the chicken when I added the sauce ingredients- scrape the bottom a bit to get them into the sauce, its worth it. My wife is allergic to mushrooms so I halved the chicken and sauce before adding mushrooms- both portions turned out excellent. The non-mushroom portion reduced even more in the oven since it had less water content (because of the mushrooms), and was quite tasty too. I served it on a bed of egg noodles, rice would definitely mop up every last bit of juice too.

Rätsel Feinschmecker July 08, 2012

We really enjoyed this thank you. I made a half recipe and chose to cook my mushrooms in the butter/oil mix after I took the chicken pieces out. I spooned it over the chicken then went on to step 5. I hate un-fried mushrooms as I think they are sort of spongy LOL. We ate this over polenta with a side salad of grilled fennel, baby leaves, red onion and parmesan. I wanted to photograph this but couldn't find my camera after a few days away and my dinner was getting cold!

JustJanS August 07, 2009

This was pretty tasty! I halved the recipe, used boneless skinless chicken breasts, left out the mushrooms, and used a can of diced tomatoes in place of the fresh ones. Served with buttered fettuccine noodles and roasted cauliflower. DH loved it and said he thought it tasted like the sauce on his father's stuffed cabbage recipe, and he specifically requested that we have this again. Thank you for sharing!

Karabea November 06, 2009