Sunday, July 08, 2007

Braised Greek Chicken

And we're back...with Kara's Greek Chicken Throwdown.

This was a pretty simple recipe that can easily take some alterations for personal preferences.

Braised Greek Chicken

I started with:
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
2 TB olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped into large pieces
1/2 large onion, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, medium dice
1 TB tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine (only use 1/2 cup next time)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lemon, sliced (omit next time, perhaps a squeeze of juice when serving?)
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves

Serve with rice

Start by preparing all your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

In a medium, oven-safe sauce pan, skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat, sear the chicken breasts in the olive oil until golden brown. You are not cooking the chicken through, just browning. About 4-5 minutes skin side down and about 2-3 minutes on the flip side.

When the chicken is browned, remove to a plate or bowl. Lower the heat to medium and add your onions. If the pan is pretty dry, add a drizzle of oil. Allow the onions to sizzle and saute for about 4 minutes, until they begin to become translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomato paste and allow to caramelize for about 30 seconds. Add the peppers.

After the tomato paste has caramelized, deglaze the pan with the white wine. Stir up all the bits on the pan and allow to dissolve in the wine. Turn the heat to high. Allow the wine to reduce by about 1/3.

Add the chicken broth and lemons (if you use them.)

Nestle the chicken into the sauce.

Add the herbs, tomatoes and more lemon. Cover the pan and place in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

Done! Remove the chicken to a plate and scoop out the lemons and thyme sprigs; discard. Put pan with broth over high heat, allow to simmer and boil down by about 1/2; about 5 minutes.

Serve on a bed of rice and spoon extra sauce and simmered vegetables on top of the chicken. Garnish with a sprig of oregano.

This was delicious. The chicken was tender and moist. The vegetables absorbed the flavors of the wine and herbs. And the rice soaks up that great broth. Why do I want to omit the lemons next time. My first taste of the broth right out of the oven; it was slightly acrid, probably from the lemon rind. The wine brings enough acid to cut through the richness of the broth and tomato that the extra lemon really isn't necessary, except maybe a drizzle of juice just prior to serving to brighten the flavors.

Now The Kara's challenge had olives and feta in addition. If I were to go that route, I would add the pitted olives along with the tomatoes and herbs prior to throwing this in the oven. The feta; I'd probably crumble it and sprinkle over the top when serving?

So Kara, does this seem like what you had? Or am I completely off base?


Stef said...

This looks so delicious! The red tomatoey goodness of the sauce is making my mouth water... as an olive-hater, I'd say stick with the way you did it! ;-)

The Kara said...

Yes! Scott - this is excellent. I do remember the Feta being hot so they probably put it in and (maybe?) cooked it a bit at the end. Only thing my dish had red peppers instead of green but I do remember the lemon (lemons in Greece are divine). Thank you so much for your work on this - I now have to try it out for myself!