Greek (Hellas) chicken

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by pcieluck, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    When i was much younger, I ate at a restaurant in greektown Detroit once in a while called Hellas Kitchen. I would always order "Hellas chicken." Sadly that restaurant is closed so now if i want to eat that again I need to replicate it somehow. Sadly, like i said i was very young, and i wasn't an aspiring chef yet, and never thought to pick apart any dish back then.

    It was served bone-in. Maybe half of a whole bird. It was ridiculously tender. And the whole thing had a stick tomato sauce to it. I want to assume it was just braised in tomato sauce but it's nothing like any chicken cacciatore i've ever had. So any ideas or know of any Greek recipes that come to mind?
     
  2. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    Doing some research I'm thinking what I've had to had was  Kotopoulo Kokkinisto. But i'm reading recipes and it's awefully similar to chicken cacciatore. And like I said, it reminded me of cacciatore very little. Any ideas at all?
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    It was either Kotopoulo Kokkinisto or Kotopoulo Stifado.  Kokkinisto is made just with a little onion, some white wine, and tomatoes more or less.  It's a very simple dish.

    Stifado is a bit more involved but still simple.  It's kind of a greek version of coq au vin and onions play a starring role.  Dark meat works best here.  You need lots and lots of onions, some garlic, some tomato paste, a few crushed tomatoes (not too much or omit altogether), red wine, a pinch of cinammon, a couple of cloves, and bay leaf.  Basically you season and dust the chicken in flour and brown it on each side in a little olive oil in a dutch oven.  Remove from the pot and then sautee the mountain of onions and garlic and then add some tomato paste to toast along.  Deglaze with red wine, you probably don't need more than 2 cups.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Then put the chicken back in and leave it to braise on the stove top for about about 90min.   Onions of choice for me are shallots, which will eventually disintegrate in the sauce.  You can also use pearl onions which look pretty later.  Traditionally served with rice or crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce. 

    This exact recipe can also be used for rabbit, with the addition of a little vinegar.  Geez it's been ages since I made stifado.  If I haven't helped you find the recipe you're looking for at the very least you've helped me find a dish for my dinner menu some time this week.
     
  4. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    I love braises and will give this a try. I'm thinking about just cutting a whole chicken in half and braising the whole thing like that. I can't help but think Hella's had a secret ingredient in there that's not in the recipes i've red so far. Shame, now days i'm notoriously good at identifying ingredients by taste but back then...i wasn't paying attention.
     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Cacciatore, chasseur, jaeger all mean hunter style and usually means it has forage type ingredients in it. Usually mushrooms.  

    And it certainly doesn't sound like anything hunter style.
     
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I love mushrooms but you're not going to find mushrooms in any greek chicken stew recipe.

    Pcieluck, the only problem with stewing a chicken cut in half is that the breast meat will undoubtedly overcook.  In most recipes of chicken stew including traditional coq au vin recipes the chicken is cut into pieces, seared on all sides and then the breasts are left out of the stew until the last 20minutes or so when they go back in.  The dark meat and the breast meat just cook at different rates and you might end up with really tough breast meat if you cook them all together.

    If none of the dishes mentioned fit the bill exactly why not try to track down that restaurant?  Might they still be open?  I'm sure that if you called them and told them of how many fond memories you have of going there as a child they will be happy to tell you the ingredients they use.  And then you could tell us!
     
  7. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Could the elusive flavour be cinammon?  It's used in Greek dishes I've eaten, particularly in Corfu and other islands.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  8. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Cinammon is an ingredient in the recipe i suggested above.

     
     
  9. ishbel

    ishbel

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    Whoops - I didn't spot it in your post.
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I'm making chicken stifado as we speak.  I can't wait.
     
  11. pcieluck

    pcieluck

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    Funny you should mention tracking them down. I was talking to my parents about it. hoping they'd remember some details I cant. My Mother mentioned they used to sell their recipes in a cookbook in their restaurant. Home printed, bound with a crappy binder. Chances of finding out are slim.