Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Greek Cinnamon Stewed Chicken

Another recipe from last week's Oprah show - and a great one at that. I made Cat Cora's Greek Cinnamon Stewed Chicken tonight and it was a HUGE hit, and deservedly so - this dish is fantastic. It's kind of like cattitore with a little twist. The chicken was tender, juicy and full of flavor, the sauce was bright, tomatoey, and with just the faintest hint of cinnamon - not overpowering at all. I loved it and I am NOT a fan of cinnamon at all.

You MUST make this dish!

I did not preboil the water with sea salt as the first step in the direction- she doesn't give any indication of how much sea salt (though I would imagine it would be a teaspoon to a tablspoon...). The dish was more than fine without it.

Be sure to read through the recipe first.

Greek Cinnamon Stewed Chicken
Recipe created by Cat Cora (original recipe here)
Serves 4

1 chicken (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cut into 8 pieces (legs, breast and thighs)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic , peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion , peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 Tbsp. dried Italian herb seasoning
1 cup orzo , cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preboil water with sea salt.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. A wet chicken will cause the oil to splatter while the chicken is sautéing. Mix the cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the chicken pieces on all sides with the seasoning.

Heat the olive oil in a large, nonreactive, deep skillet over high heat. A 12-inch skillet with sides about 2 1/2 to 3 inches high will allow you to brown all the chicken at once. If you don't have a skillet large enough, brown them in two batches using 1/2 the oil for each batch. What's important is that the chicken isn't overcrowded, which would cause them to steam rather than brown.

Add the chicken to the oil and brown for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn the pieces using a metal spatula, as they have a tendency to stick to the pan. Remove the pieces when they are well browned on all sides.

Mince three of the garlic cloves. Lower the heat to medium-high, and add the onions and minced garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the onions have softened and are a rich golden brown. Add about 1/2 cup of the water and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula or spoon to deglaze the pan, loosening any particles stuck on the bottom.

When the water has evaporated, add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and remaining 2 garlic cloves, minced.

Return the chicken to the pan. The liquid should cover about 3/4 of the chicken pieces. Cover the pot and simmer over medium-high heat for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked. If the sauce becomes too thick, it can be thinned with a little more water. Season the finished sauce with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Serve over orzo, cooked according to package directions, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

A new favorite here at Chez Sing!



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dawn said...

Wow! that stewed chicken sounds delicious...i wanna try it..all you have to do is step outside for some of the ingredients...right away i'm gonna get the ingredients from www.myethnicworld.com and try it...thanks for sharing.

Lorence, Columbus, Ohio said...

Please let me know how it turns out, Dawn. I used Mrs. Dash® Tomato Basil Seasoning Blend (see http://www.mrsdash.com/products/seasoning-tomato-basil-garlic.aspx) for the "Itialian herb seasoning" in the recipe, but any mix of basil, oregano, etc., would do. This also made a whole bunch of sauce, I so I froze the extra. Then when I need an easy meal, I thaw it out and slowly heat some boneless chicken breasts in it for about 30-45 mins, & serve over rice again. Yummy & easy!

Anonymous said...

DEEE-LICIOUS! We really enjoyed it! Made an ample 6 servings using 6 thighs (with skin & bones), plenty of sauce but I will make more orzo next time! Super-picky Ryan even asked for more chicken(I almost fell out of my chair)! Danny really liked the tomato sauce too, liberally dousing his orzo with it. The very subtle taste of cinnamon was outstanding. Yummmmmmmmy! Thanks! Shelley & Fam