Djuvec. Rice and chicken the Croatian way.

First of all, how do you spell that? I’d say something like “jouwetch”.

Secondly, what is it? Very, very roughly said: It’s like a paella, but from the Eastern part of the Mediterranean. In Germany, you will get it most likely in Croatian restaurants, but I got this recipe from an Armenian colleague, Gemille.

Third, why should I bother? It’s incredibly tasty, it’s totally versatile and can even be made only with pantry items – or vegetarian if you leave out the chicken. And the best thing: it practically makes itself.


1 cup rice
1 cup peas
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup bell peppers, diced
1 cup onions, diced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
5 garlic gloves, crushed
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika powder
3 tablespoons Vegeta (or vegetable broth powder)
1 cup cream
500 g / 1 pound chicken (your favorite parts or a whole chicken)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika powder
2 tablespoons Vegeta (or vegetable broth powder)

Vegeta is the allround spice and salt for Croatians. In Germany, you can find it in every supermarket – but keep a lookout in the international isle. If you can’t find it, just use regular vegetable broth powder.

Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F. Then take your biggest pan or – if you only have pans with a plasic handle – use a rectangular baking dish. Fill in the rice, the vegetables, tomato paste, oil, paprika and Vegeta and mix them together.

Flatten the mixture a bit, put the pan or baking dish into the oven and only then fill in enough water to cover it all by 2 cm / 1 inch. That way, if you’re clumsy, you will only spill water and not have lots of oily vegetable bits floating in your kitchen.

Bake for 30-45 min and do not touch or stir. Just try after half an hour if the rice is getting done.

In the meantime, cover the chicken bits with oil and season with more paprika powder and Vegeta. I like chicken breast in rather thin slices. But if you prefer drumsticks or a whole chicken, you should cook it first in water to get the meat done. Then toss in oil and spices.

When the rice is almost done, pour the cup of cream over it – no need to stir it in, it will dissipate by itself. Distribute the chicken parts on top and give it another 10-15 min. until it all looks golden brown and delicious. Bring the whole pan to the table and serve with a really big spoon.

2 thoughts on “Djuvec. Rice and chicken the Croatian way.”

  1. hmmmmmm lecker! ich liebe djuvec! es ist übrigends nicht nur kroatisch, sonder eigentlich generell jugoslavisch… gibts also in ganz ex-jugo…

    ausserdem hast du einen blogger award von mir bekommen 😉 kannst du auf meinem blog anschauen!

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