There are many takes on Giouvetsi…lamb, shrimp, beef, goat and today, it’s chicken. All these dishes are traditionally baked in an earthenware vessel called a “gastra”.
The north Africans have Tajines, us Greeks have the Gastra. Our family had one years ago but it unfortunately broke in a disputed accident (I say clumsyness).
Next month when I visit Greece, I’ll be spending some time on the Greek island of Sifnos. The island is famous for it’s pottery (and birthplace of Nikos Tselementes) and I have every intention of bringing back a nice Gastra back with me.
In the meantime, a casserole or baking dish works just fine. Here, I used chicken pieces (legs) that were first boiled down to extract a chicken stock and then used to flavour this simple yet tasty Greek dish.
1 large onion, diced
1 Cubanelle pepper, diced
1 cup tomato puree
1 1/2 cups of Kritharaki (orzo)
6 cups of chicken stock
1 whole chicken, separated into pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Grated Kefalotyri (Romano) Cheese
Pre-heated 375F oven
- In a skillet, over medium heat, add your onions and peppers and saute for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
- Add the Kritharaki and stir for a few minutes to toast the kernels.
- Add the hot stock and tomato puree and bring to a boil while stirring. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to an oven-proof baking vessel, add your pieces of chicken and bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes or until most of the juices have been absorbed and the top is golden brown.
- Serve hot with some fresh ground pepper and grated Kefalotyri cheese.
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