We love leftovers! Having food in the refrigerator has saved our sanity many an evening, and although most times leftovers are served exactly as they were when they were initially prepared, sometimes we get fancy. This recipe is an example of us getting fancy, transforming chicken kokkinisto and French fries into a Greek version of a Quebec classic.
Poutine is a Quebec specialty, right up there with maple syrup, Montreal bagels and smoked meat. It is the epitome of Quebec fast food, and goes equally well with either a nice cold glass of milk or a frosty beer. Classic poutine is comprised of 3 pretty awesome ingredients; greasy fries, gravy and cheese curds. The exact origin of this Belle Province staple is a bit obscure, but seems to have its roots in the Quebec towns of Warwick and Drummondville. Legend has it (yes, legend…because poutine is legendary) that a restaurant owner in Warwick tossed both the French fries and the cheese curds together in a take-away bag for a customer who was in a rush. When he opened the bag and saw the delicious mess that had been created, he exclaimed poutine, the Quebecois slang term for a mess. A few years later, at a casse-croutes in Drummondville, hot gravy was added to the potatoes and cheese in order to keep things nice and warm. The exact truth about the origins of poutine may never be known, but regardless of where and how it originated, the masterminds behind it are food heroes.
As poutine has become more and more popular, the classic, original version has been played with and built upon. These days you can get poutine topped with smoked meat, poutine made with various cheeses and you can even enjoy poutine with lobster. In Montreal there are even restaurants that serve primarily poutine…and the menu is huge. So, we decided to add one more option to the mix. A Greek-style poutine which uses the sauce from chicken kokkinisto instead of gravy, feta instead of cheese curds and is topped with bite-sized pieces of chicken.
The quantity of feta and oregano that you will add to each serving will ultimately depend on your taste.
Mia Kouppa: Chicken kokkinisto with French fries
- 1 whole chicken (approximately 3 – 4 pounds)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon (7 ml) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground black pepper
- 2 cups (500 ml) tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon (4 ml) cinnamon
- Carve your chicken into 8 – 10 serving size pieces ( 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 breasts (which you can cut in half) and 2 wings). Remove excess fat and skin.
- Place your chicken in a large bowl and pour the juice of one lemon over the pieces. Add salt and pepper over the chicken and distribute it evenly.
- Add 1/3 cup olive oil to medium sized frying pan. Turn heat up to medium high and add the chicken pieces, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. You may need to cook the chicken in 2 batches. Watch video of them frying here.
- Fry the chicken for about 4 – 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. As your chicken pieces cook, transfer them to a medium sized pot. When all of your chicken has cooked and has been placed in the pot, pour the cooking oil into the pot as well.
- To the pot add the tomato sauce and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pot and cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the sauce and cut it into bite sized pieces, being careful to remove the bones. Enjoy!
Mia Kouppa: Greek-style Poutine
- Potatoes (average 1 – 2 large potatoes per serving, depending on how hungry people are)
- Vegetable oil
- Sea salt
- chicken kokkinisto bite-size pieces (see recipe above)
- tomato sauce from chicken kokkinisto (see recipe above)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, per serving or to taste
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta, per serving or to taste
- Prepare your potatoes by peeling them, cutting them into 1/4 inch thick slices, and soaking them for at least an hour (longer is better) in cold water.
- Drain potatoes and dry using a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Heat oil in deep frying pan or a pot (at least 1 inch of oil).
- Insert one potato and when that potato starts to sizzle, drop additional potatoes into the oil carefully. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook over medium / high heat for approximately 15 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown on all sides.
- Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and let drain in a colander lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with sea salt and oregano while still hot.
- Repeat with remaining potatoes.
- Place your french fries in a shallow bowl. Top with chicken kokkinisto which you have cut into bite-sized pieces. Then cover the potatoes and chicken with the tomato sauce from your kokkinisto.
- Top with crumbled feta and some additional dried oregano if desired. Enjoy.