A pot of goodness that will satisfy your whole family
This may actually be one of our favourite meals. Not only does this dish of chicken, cooked alongside potatoes and peas in a rich tomato sauce satisfy all sorts of comfort cravings, it also comes together pretty easily. Nothing too fancy in terms of technique or ingredients, this is humble, real Greek food. This is the type of meal we grew up on, and this is the type of meal that we turn to today, when we want something that tastes like home.
It is usually always more economical to purchase a whole chicken that you then cut up into serving size pieces yourself versus buying chicken pieces. Don’t be intimidated! All you really need is a sharp knife, a cutting board and perhaps this tutorial from Martha Stewart.
After portioning your chicken, you will be left with the carcass. This is perfect for making a stock that you can then use for avgolemono soup.
We need to note that before frying the chicken, our parents like to boil it for about 5 minutes in water and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, before frying it. According to them, this helps to eliminate some of the fat. Who knows if this is true! Maybe the vinegar also adds a subtle flavour…but even that is unclear. If you don’t feel like doing this step, it’s probably fine to skip it (we won’t tell our folks).
The amount of pepper listed in this recipe is a lot; it’s not a mistake. Surprisingly, the end result is not too peppery…it is just right!
If you love the idea of this dish, but are looking for something vegetarian (actually, vegan), check out our recipe for stewed green peas. Equally delicious, minus the chicken.
Chicken with tomato sauce and peas
- Frying pan or skillet
- Large saucepot
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) olive oil
- 4 medium sized (or 8 small) yellow fleshed potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 ½ cups (375 mL) tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups (500 mL) water
- 750 grams frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- Carve your raw chicken into 8 – 10 pieces; you will end up with 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, 2 wings, and 2 breasts which depending upon the size, you may want to cut further in half (so you will either end up with 2 breast pieces, or 4 small pieces). Remove the excess skin off of the chicken pieces. Discard the carcass or reserve it to make stock.
- Season the chicken evenly with the 1 tablespoon of salt.
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat and fry your chicken pieces for approximately 5 minutes per side or enough time that the chicken browns on the surface. You may have to cook the chicken in batches. As the chicken is removed from the skillet, transfer it directly into a large pot.
- After your chicken is all browned, fry the potato wedges. As with the chicken, you do not want them to cook through entirely; you only want your potatoes to be golden brown on the sides. This will take 2 – 3 minutes per side.
- As the potatoes cook, transfer these to the pot with the chicken. Pour the olive oil that you had used for frying carefully (it is hot) into the pot as well.
- To the pot of chicken and potatoes add the carrots, tomato sauce, pepper, cinnamon and water.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Cover your pot and cook for approximately 25 minutes.
- Add the peas to the pot, cover, and cook for an additional 10 – 15 minutes, over medium heat. Lift the lid and add the chopped dill to the pot. Return the cover. Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Prior to serving, mix the contents of the pot carefully with a wooden spoon or spatula.