Kota Kokinisti Me Patates

June 12, 2009 · 21 comments

in chicken/poultry,dairy-free,greek,healthy

…or, basically, chicken stewed in tomato-y  broth with potatoes.

Greek food is so uncomplicated.  Oh, sure, like most cuisines these days there are more fancified, fusion versions of it (that are wonderful, of course).  But generally speaking, a lot of Greek food is made by throwing some stuff together (typically involving tomatoes or lemon juice) and letting it cook for a long time; for example, roast chicken and potatoes, tourlou tourlou, stewed vegetables, fakes (lentil soup), youvetsi and manestra (braised meats with orzo), kima/meatsauce, etc.  Food is absolutely important to Greeks, but it’s more important to enjoy your food & and enjoy your company while eating than it is to spend forever in the kitchen, using a huge list of ingredients.

And that’s totally fine because that’s why, at least to me, Greek food is so comforting.  Anything that cooks for a long time has a tendency to make you feel good, doesn’t it? I don’t know if it’s the smell as it’s cooking or all the ingredients meshing together into one.  Take for instance this dish. It’s not hard to make, it’s not going to be the most impressive thing you serve, and, well…it’s completely monochromatic. But that’s ok, because it’s simple, it’s warm, and it’s homey.  Kokinisto (which basically means red) can be made with lamb, chicken, or beef.   You can stew the meat on its own, or you can add potatoes or vegetables such as okra, green beans, or peas.  “Kota” means chicken and “patates” means potatoes, which is why this particular version is called kota kokinisti me (with) patates.

You’ll want some nice crusty bread to sop up the sauce (yes, I am advocating the double carb dinner here :).  Oh yeah, and like most stews, the leftovers are even better.

Kota Kokinisti

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1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 whole (3ish lb.) chicken, cut into pieces (I skin mine because I don’t care for stewed skin)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups water
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
1  cinnamon stick
3-4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into sixths

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and then add to the hot oil, in batches if necessary, to brown. Remove.

Add more oil to the pot if necessary, and then add the onions, sauteing until tender. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste until the garlic is fragrant. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape up the browned bits. Cook until the wine and tomato paste are well-incorporated.

Add the water, parsley, bay, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices back into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer, covered, for 45-60 minutes. Season to taste. Add the potatoes and cook until fork-tender (If you don’t think you’ll have enough liquid, add more water. )

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