This project of one new recipe per week is really getting to me. It seems like all I ever write is about cooking and in English. But then again: who cares? It's tons of food and fun, what else can you wish for?
This week I thought I could give in and chose chicken for the geek. He loves chicken, but I am rather indifferent towards it. So when thinking of food, chicken is not what comes to my mind. But here I was promised a lovely marriage of chicken and artichoke plus olives, how could I resist?
For this zesty chicken you'll need:
4-8 chicken parts (I used three entire legs for the two of us, just as an indicator)
4 Tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125 ml white wine (or whatever is left in the bottle)
400 g tomatoes (canned ones, with the juice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (maybe Santa is Greek after all?)
1/2 tsp clove
1/2 tsp allspice
salt and pepper
400 g artichoke hearts (canned, cut into halves)
8 black olives (not 7, not 9: 8 it is!)
Skin the chicken and make sure to NOT throw the gross skin away in order to avoid getting into an argument with a person hypothetically named geek. Skin can be fried, so keep it. Then rub the chicken in lemon juice and set them aside on a plate. Sweat onions and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes and then add the chicken parts. Let the meat brown on all sides for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the wine (and drink the rest of the bottle while singing Greek folk songs), and mix in the tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, clove and allspice. Really, who else is still wondering about the Greeks' obsession with cinnamon? I love cinnamon, but until I discovered this book, I had pictured it as something which is reserved for Christmas and milk rice. Semolina, maybe, but besides that? Purely decorative. But here we are, using up all the cinnamon I thought would last a lifetime.
Let everything cook, then cover it and let it simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes until the meat is done. When I lifted the lid after about half an hour, I finally understood the concept of "until the meats comes off the bone". It does. Amazing.
10 minutes before everything is done, add artichokes and olives.
Prepare yourself with some raki.
A suprisingly tasty dish, even for people who are indifferent to chicken unless it is battered, deep-fried and served ina bucket. We paired it with rice, but bread would be equally good or even better. The usual salad was served, of course.
That stuff in the middle is a walnut garlic dip, but it looks rather like putty. Don't let it fool you.
Cherrio chicken, you'll be back on my plate.