Broiled chicken (Κότα ψητή)

Broiled chicken (Κότα ψητή)

Boiling then broiling gives the most delectable chicken!

Some things in life make no logical sense, and yet still seem to work.  This recipe is an example of that. Reading through the directions which follow you would assume that the chicken, which is boiled twice and then broiled, would end up over-cooked and dry; certainly not something worth writing about.  But, you would be wrong.  Despite the somewhat unusual cooking method and minimal seasoning, you end up with a meal which is delicious, tender and definitely worth posting about.

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Biftekia with french fries (Μπιφτέκια με τηγανιτές πατάτες)

Biftekia with french fries (Μπιφτέκια με τηγανιτές πατάτες)

Biftekia with french fries (Μπιφτέκια με τηγανιτές πατάτες)

 

Our neighbourhood growing up was filled with a lot of kids our age.  We lived in an apartment complex, which was one of many on several blocks, and everyone seemed to know everyone else, at least a little bit.  Our free time was spent meeting friends on the street, hanging out in the large back yards and driveways of these apartment buildings, playing catch, dodge ball, hide-and-seek, or just hanging around riding our bikes to the corner store to buy popsicles and sip-sacs.  On days where there was no school, we would be outdoors all day, coming in only for lunch and bathroom breaks.  Reluctant to fully stop all friend-related activities, we would often have friends over to share a quick lunch before heading back out.  Knowing this, our parents would usually have some quick and kid-friendly meals at the ready.  Included in this were lots of hamburgers and meatballs (called keftedes), and these were well loved, and understood, even by our non-Greek friends.  They would ask for ketchup (they were usually given tzatziki instead) and they ate, happily.

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Lamb tagine with couscous

Lamb tagine with couscous

Lamb tagine with couscous

 

We love to travel.  Although we spent many of our childhood summers in Greece, as we got older we each began exploring other parts of the world as well.  A few days ago, one of us celebrated her wedding anniversary, and with that came memories of an incredible honeymoon; months spent in Morocco, Gibraltar and Spain.  Time was devoted to exploring cities, beaches, museums and the unique charm of these incredible places. Oh and yes, we ate.  We ate well.

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Chicken kokkinisto with french fries (Κοτόπουλο κοκκινιστό με τηγανητές πατάτες)

Chicken kokkinisto with french fries (Κοτόπουλο κοκκινιστό με τηγανητές πατάτες)

Meat or poultry cooked in tomato sauce is a staple in most Greek kitchens, including our parents’.  This type of meal is called kokkinisto, which means red or reddened and refers to the fact that the cooking liquid is tomato sauce.  Whether you choose to use meat, as we did in our veal kokkinisto recipe, or poultry as we are doing here, you will find that this method of cooking results in something absolutely delicious, with minimal effort.  How wonderful is that!?

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Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)

Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)

Fried liver (Συκώτι τηγανητό)

 

Stop gagging! Some people actually love liver!  Not us necessarily, but some people. Mind you, we’ve never actually met these people, but we’re sure they exist.  Even our parents, who used to force us to eat liver at least once a month as we were growing up, aren’t huge fans.  In fact we realized that as soon as our parents became empty-nesters, they cook liver, like never!  We can’t recall calling or popping in on our folks, and hearing them say “Oh, we’re just frying up some nice liver for dinner. Why don’t you join us?”.  In fact, during a recent Mia Kouppa session, when we surprised our parents with a piece of liver and asked them to show us how to prepare it, we are pretty sure that our mom sighed and our dad cringed.

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Yiouverlakia avgolemono and tomato (Γιουβαρλάκια αυγολέμονο με ντομάτα)

Yiouverlakia avgolemono and tomato (Γιουβαρλάκια αυγολέμονο με ντομάτα)

Yiouverlakia avgolemono and tomato (Γιουβαρλάκια αυγολέμονο με ντομάτα)

 

We don’t know about you, but we’re supposed to be having spring like weather here in Canada.  It seems that someone didn’t get the message.  In the span of a few hours this afternoon we experienced a tiny bit of sun, snow, hail and rain.  What ever happened to April showers bringing May flowers?  Hail is not showers!

Since we can’t control the weather (we have tried, promise!), we can at least control how we live with it.  Our winter coats are still accessible, as are our boots and hats.  We’ve kept the salt out for de-icing the driveway and our beds are still incredible cozy with our woollen blankets and duvets.  And in the kitchen, we’ve been leaning towards winter weather food, comforting for body and soul…like this deliciously soothing yiouverlakia soup flavoured with avgolemono and tomato.  Bring it on April…we can take you! Actually, we’re just kidding…we can hardly take this anymore!  We are dreaming of spring, and salads!

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Roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes (Κοτόπουλο λεμονάτο με πατάτες)

Roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes (Κοτόπουλο λεμονάτο με πατάτες)

Roast chicken and Greek-style potatoes (Κοτόπουλο λεμονάτο με πατάτες)

 

This may look familiar!  Given that it is one of our most viewed and downloaded recipes, we’ve decided to show some extra love to this post by incorporating new, and we think improved, photos.  Hope you enjoy them!

Pssst…want to know a secret?  We were really apprehensive about tackling this meal. You see, our parents’ chicken and potatoes are epic. They get requests from all over the world lots of people for their recipe and they are really happy to tell anyone who asks, including us,  how it’s done. They say something along the lines of ‘take a chicken, add some potatoes to the roasting pan, pour in some lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and bake it all for a few hours’. Easy, right?  So, we try, and it tastes good…but not phenomenal. Not mind-blowing delicious, like theirs is. Not let-me-tell-anyone-who-will-listen scrumptious, like theirs is. Not taste-bud-shockingly fabulous, like theirs is.  “Why?”, we wondered. We did what they told us to, so how to explain the difference between their phenomenal chicken and potatoes, and our pretty good chicken and potatoes? For a while we actually started to wonder if perhaps our parents were magic. Magic would explain everything! But then we watched them in action, took detailed notes, measured and counted, studied their every step and finally we were able to reproduce their roasted chicken and Greek potatoes ourselves, in our very own kitchens! Hourray!  We were once again amazed that such simple ingredients could produce something so marvellous…and so we thought, maybe magic is hereditary!?

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Eggs with loukaniko and potato (Ομελέτα με λουκάνικα και πατάτες)

Eggs with loukaniko and potato (Ομελέτα με λουκάνικα και πατάτες)

Eggs with loukaniko and potato (Ομελέτα με λουκάνικα και πατάτες)

 

Our parents always say that so long as you have eggs, you have something for dinner.  As usual, they are right.  Whether you simply dress up some hard boiled eggs, fry up a few, or make a Mediterranean style omelette, eggs are an easy and inexpensive source of protein and nutrients.  They taste pretty delicious too!  Growing up we may not have had the most fashionable clothes, the coolest toys or the most expensive bikes, but we always had plenty of delicious food to eat.  This was possible because our parents understood that you could always build delicious meals using a few staples.  Using some everyday ingredients they were experts at creating original, filling and healthy meals for their family.  Our kitchen was always stocked with what we’ve learned are the essential Greek pantry items.

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Tsoureki and feta grilled cheese

Tsoureki and feta grilled cheese

Tsoureki and feta grilled cheese

 

For years, when we thought about grilled cheese we thought only about two pieces of white toast slathered with butter, with a slice of processed cheese in between them.  This would get fried in a non-stick pan and served, usually with a cold glass of milk.  A thin, crispy, but at the same time kind of soggy, sandwich…and we loved it.  It was one of the first things we learned to make ourselves when we were young, and we felt that we were teaching our parents a thing or two…grilled cheese was not something they grew up on. Now that we are older, and more culinary (we have a blog after all!), we still occasionally enjoy this classic…but we’ve also learned that there is more than one way to grill a cheese sandwich.

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