RECIPE TITLE "One-Pot Chicken with Broth-Simmered Noodles and Ground Walnuts -- Kotopoulo Me Hilopites Kai Karydia " Author:
Glorious Foods of Greece: Traditional Recipes from the Islands, Cities, and Villages
Copyright © 2001 by Diane Kochilas
4 - 6 --- easy
I don't know if the practice of cooking pasta in broth or pot juices is something that evolved as a way to economize on water, which has generally been scarce in arid Greece, or if it is because the soft, glutinous texture that results -- somewhere between a soup and a stew -- has always been agreeable to the Greek palate. Versions of this dish are savored all over the north of Greece, as well as in other parts of country, proof enough that there is something to be said for its hearty, soul-warming consistency. This is Greek comfort food.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large 4- to 4-1/2-pound-chicken, preferably free-range, cut into serving pieces
6 large onions, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped, or 1-1/2 cups chopped canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1-1/4 cups small egg pasta, preferably squares or tubetini
1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
- In a large, wide pot, heat the olive oil and butter together over high heat and brown the chicken on all sides until golden, in batches if necessary. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions to the pot, and cook, stirring, until wilted and translucent, about 7 minutes. Return the chicken to the pot, season with salt and pepper, and pour in the tomatoes. Add enough water to barely cover the chicken. Cover and simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 1 hour. Add the mint about 10 minutes before the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside, covered, in a warm oven.
- Add a cup or more of water to the pot -- you'll have to use your own judgment; there should be enough for the pasta to be able to boil, but once done the mixture should be thick and souplike. Add the pasta and simmer until ready. Serve the pasta in a deep platter with the chicken on top, sprinkled with the walnuts.
Glorious Foods of Greece
In beautiful prose and with more than four hundred unusual recipes many of them never before recorded invites us to a Greece few visitors ever get to see. Along the way she serves up feast after feast of food, history, and culture from a land where the three have been intertwined since time immemorial.
In an informed introduction, she sets the historic framework of the cuisine, so that we clearly see the differences among the earthy mountain cookery, the sparse, ingenious island table, and the sophisticated aromaticcooking traditions of the Greeks in diaspora. In each chapter she takes stock of the local pantry and cooking customs. From the olive-laden Peloponnesos, she brings us such unusual dishes as One-Pot Chicken Simmered with Artichokes and served with Tomato-Egg-Lemon Sauce and VineLeaves Stuffed with Salt Cod. From the Venetian-influenced Ionian islands, she offers up such delights asPastry-Cloaked Pasta from Corfu filled with cheese and charcuterie and delicious Bread Pudding from Ithaca with zabaglione. Her mainland recipes, as well as those that hail from Greece's impenetrable northwestern mountains, offer an enticing array of dozens of delicious savory pies, unusual greens dishes, and succulent meat preparations such as Lamb with Garlic and Cheese Baked in Paper. In Macedonia she documents the complex, perfumed, urbane cuisine that defines that region. In the Aegean islands, she serves up a wonderful repertory of exotic yet simple foods, reminding us how accessible and healthful is the Greek fegional table.
The result is a cookbook unlike any other that has ever been written on Greek cuisine, one that brims with the author's love and knowledge of her subject, a tribute to the vibrant, multifaceted continuum of Greek cooking, both highly informed and ever inviting. The Glorious Foods of Greece is an important work, one that contributes generously to the culinary literature and is sure to become the definitive book of Greek cuisine and culture for future generations of food lovers Greek and non-Greek alike.