Greek Casserole Chicken in a hearty slow-cooked tomato sauce is a classic greek rustic dish found in every Greek family table at least once a month. In greek homes, this dish would be served with Spaghetti and copious amounts of kefalotyri or pecorino cheese dusted on top. It would also be served with homemade potato chips (πατατες τηγανιτες) or rice.
Whichever your preference, the whole family will enjoy this meal. How could you not, so many generations of greeks have made this over and over again.
Κοτόπουλο Κοκκινιστό is the Greek version of Chicken Cacciatore or The French Poulet Ala Chasseur. If you are greek you may also have heard this dish called Pastitsada.
The secret to this dish is in the tomato sauce and the cut of chicken you choose to use. Buy a whole chicken with the skin removed and cut into serving-sized pieces. Some of the hearty flavours come from the bones and if you use chicken breasts alone it won’t quite be the same.
If you are not keen on buying a whole chicken and cutting it into pieces yourself, you can use chicken thighs cutlets (with the bone) and simply remove the skin.
Now lets talk about the sauce, the combination of garlic – cinnamon, allspice and red wine adds to the rustic beauty of the dish. If you do not have dry red wine, not all is lost you could omit.
For me, it brings memories of my grandmother whom was very colourful, strong-minded and spent much of her time heading out early in the morning on her mule to one of her farms. She used to serve it with Bucatini [bukaˈtiːni] spaghetti, a thick spaghetti pasta (μακαροναδα) with a hole running through the centre. Lastly, copious amounts of cheese on top. I’m pretty sure she would laugh at the tiny amount of cheese I have in this photo.
The chicken is browned and then gently simmered in the rich tomato sauce. My grandmother would use sun-ripened tomatoes but as we do not have that here, a good quality tomato sauce such as Mutti Passata or Polpa tomato sauce is recommended. Some of the budget ones tend to be watered down and you may not achieve that depth of colour and flavour you see in the photo.
Lastly, she would serve with copious amounts of tubular spaghetti and an equally generous serve of sharp cheese.
Her sauce was unparalleled and whenever this is made in my home it is made in the same fashion.
This recipe has been written up with much love and would be very appreciative if you could tag me @olivesandfeta #olivesandfeta on Instagram or send me a message with your photo. That would be the best way to say thank you.
Greek Casserole chicken simmered in a rich hearty tomato sauce. A family favourite.
- 1kg whole chicken or chicken thigh cutlets (with bone)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 150ml dry red wine
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 3-5 pieces of allspice
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 250g mutti tomato passata or polpa
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
Remove skin from the chicken and cut it into pieces if you are using a whole chicken.
Rinse chicken, drain and pat dry with a paper towel. The chicken cannot be wet when it is being browned.
Heat a good splash of olive oil in a cooking pot over high heat.
Brown the chicken on all sides. You may find you may need to do this in batches. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Using the same cooking pot, reduce the heat to medium and add a little more olive oil if the cooking pot is dry.
Saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add the tomato paste and wine and stir through. Add the tomato and cook for 4-5 minutes. Stir intermittently.
Add the chicken back to the pot.
Add the chicken stock, spices, seasoning and half of the parsley.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook with the lid on for about 1 hour.
Check the sauce to see if it has thickened. See the Picture below for reference.
What cut of chicken to use
1. Buy a whole chicken with the skin removed and cut into serving-sized pieces. Some of the hearty flavours come from the bones and if you use chicken breasts alone it won't quite be the same.
2. If you are not keen on buying a whole chicken and cutting it into pieces yourself, you can use chicken thighs cutlets (with the bone) and simply remove the skin.
What kind of Tomato sauce to use for best results
My grandmother would use sun-ripened tomatoes but as we do not have that here, a good quality tomato sauce such as Mutti Passata or Polpa tomato sauce is recommended. Some of the budget ones tend to be watered down and you may not achieve that depth of colour and flavour you see in the photo.
Please do let me know if the steps are confusing, or if a step requires elaborating.
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