Food from Many Greek Kitchens
by Tessa Kiros
This is a dish you may find in the villages of Greece. Quite wintry really. It is lovely with homemade noodles (or bought dried ones). It is also often served with french fries instead of noodles.
You can use a chicken here in place of the rooster, but the cooking time will be shorter.
Serves 4 to 6
• 5 tablespoons Olive Oil
• 1 Rooster with skin on (about 5 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
• 2 Red Onions. chopped
• 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
• Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
• 2 Cups Red Wine
• 1 heaping tablespoon Tomato Paste
• 14 ounce can Chopped Tomatoes
• 1/2 Cinnamon Stick
• 2 Bay Leaves
• 3 Allspice Berries
• Hilopites OR 14 ounces Dried Flat Pasta pieces, for serving
• Shredded firm Mizithra cheese OR hard salted Ricotta, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick pan with high sides over medium heat and fry the rooster pieces until golden on all sides. Add the onions around the rooster and fry, stirring often, until it is golden, then add the garlic. Season well with salt and pepper on both sides. When it smells good, add the wine.
Simmer uncovered and when much of the wine has evaporated, add the tomato paste, the tomatoes and a tomato can of water. Add the cinnamon, bay leaves and allspice, and a little more salt. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours, or until the bird is very tender but not falling off the bone. Add a little more water toward the end if the sauce needs loosening up—there must be some nice thickened sauce to serve with the noodles. Turn off the heat and leave, covered.
Cook the Hilopites or pasta in boiling salted water until soft, a couple of minutes, or follow the package instructions. Drain and toss with a little of the sauce. Serve right away, with pieces of rooster on top of the pasta, a little more sauce over and a scattering of cheese.