Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chicken Stew with Tomato Sauce

Melissa's dad gave me a gorgeous cookbook for Christmas, the "Bible of authentic Greek cooking". It is an incredible thing; I'm really obsessed with Greece, its culture, its history, its language, and especially its food. I've tried a few recipes from it so far, the first, a sort of really heavy pancake, didn't work out very well, but the second, a braised pork dish, was delectable (I'll probably share it with you soon). This one too was a fantastic dish, although I did modify it pretty liberally. It didn't actually end up turning out as a stew; all the liquid evaporated leaving just intensely flavoured chicken. Still fantastic!

Chicken Stew with Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Vefa's Kitchen

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 lbs chicken, cut into pieces
1 small onion (I used a shallot)
500g fresh tomatoes, pureed; or 400g canned tomatoes, pureed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups orzo
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chicken and cook over medium heat, turning frequently for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned all over. Remove and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until softened.

Return the chicken to the pan, pour in the tomato puree, add the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and oregano to taste. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the sauce has reached the desired consistency (mine was pretty much gone).

Meanwhile, add the orzo, stock, and butter to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in parmesan cheese.

Serve the chicken with the orzo.

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