Chicken in Tomato Sauce

A traditional feel-good dish, ideal for Sunday family gatherings


Chef: Christoforos Peskias 

Preparation & Cooking time: 60'

Serves: 4

Traditionally, this dish is prepared all over the Peloponnese and on the islands of the Ionian with free-range cockerel, but it can also be made with good-quality chicken. It is served with a wide variety of traditional pastas. The type used most commonly in Messinia is hilopites, much like fettuccine cut into small squares, which can be found in most Greek supermarkets. If you do use cockerel, increase the cooking time by about an hour, until its tough yet very tasty meat becomes tender.

INSTRUCTIONS

Season the chicken pieces well on all sides and brown in 50 ml of hot olive oil in a wide saucepan for approximately 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, sautéing for another 3 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the tomato and the bay leaf, and cover to cook for 20 minutes. Remove the white meat to a platter, continuing to cook the dark pieces for another 30 minutes until the meat comes off the bone. Remove to the platter. Pour the chicken stock or water (keeping a few tablespoons aside) into the sauce and bring to the boil to cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. A minute before the pasta is done, add the chicken, the rest of the olive oil, the mint and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and allow to rest 10 minutes. Before serving, add the remaining stock or water to loosen it up. Serve with a hard grated cheese, preferably traditional Greek myzithra.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 chicken, approx. 1.2 kilograms (preferably free range or organic) cut into 6 or 8 pieces
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 200 gr onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
  • 800 gr overripe tomatoes, peeled and grated
  • 1 bay leaf (preferably fresh)
  • 400-500 ml chicken stock or water
  • Handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper


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