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Chicken Kozani recipe

Chicken Kozani recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken thigh

This is a delectable chicken dish from Kozani, a city and region in northern Greece. Serve with steamed rice.

Greater London, England, UK

11 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large red onions, halved then sliced lengthways
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs or legs
  • 20 prunes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr10min

  1. In a large frying pan over medium low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and cover. Sweat the onions for approximately 10 minutes, until soft, ensuring they don't take any colour.
  2. Meanwhile, place the four chicken thighs or legs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Place over high heat, covered, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, uncover and skim any foam off the top. Reduce heat to medium high and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Once onions are translucent and soft, take the chicken off the heat. Add the chicken to the onions in the frying pan. Measure out 750ml of stock from the saucepan and add to the frying pan with the chicken and onions. Add the prunes, paprika, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then cover and simmer over low heat for 15 to 25 minutes to allow the flavours to combine. Serve hot over steamed white or brown rice.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(39)

Reviews in English (30)

mixed reviews from the family. I tried it with a tin of pruned in apple juice and used the juice with the water to cook the chicken. Next time I will only use half the stock suggested and thicken it with cornflower. Also the water the chicken is cooked in first needs seasoning.-02 Oct 2012

by Maila

Had to use boneless skinless chicken breasts so I skipped the boiling step. I used a cup or so of chicken broth to replace the water. This was Delicious, a great break from the usual rotation of chicken recipes!-05 Oct 2009

by ParkSlopeLisa

This has become a new favorite in our house. it is easy and so delicious. I just let it cook much longer so all of the flavors meld and the prunes totally degrade. Yummy!-12 Dec 2010

Kozani chicken with prunes, saffron & paprika from Rick Stein's Long Weekends: Over 100 New Recipes from My Travels Around Europe (page 46) by Rick Stein

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Always check the publication for a full list of ingredients. An Eat Your Books index lists the main ingredients and does not include 'store-cupboard ingredients' (salt, pepper, oil, flour, etc.) - unless called for in significant quantity.

Chicken Kozani recipe - Recipes

Douglas came over for dinner and various bits of cult TV on Friday evening, so I thought I’d give this little recipe a go. (Technically these recipes, as the pilaf rice is also from the same book.) Again, as with Thursday’s dinner it’s from the Rick Stein cookbook Long Weekends. It’s very easy to do and, considerably more flavoursome than I was expecting, given the minimal amount of spices that the recipe calls for. The pilaf rice accompaniment is really nice too. So much so that I also cooked it on Saturday night with a different recipe.

8 skinless chicken thighs (being greedy I used 6 for the two of us – 3 each!)
1 litre of water
A pinch of saffron
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 red onions, finely sliced
1½ tablespoons of sweet paprika
20 pitted prunes
1 teaspoon of salt
6 turns of black pepper

For the pilaf rice:

60g of onion, finely chopped
30g of butter
350g of long-grain rice
600ml of chicken stock
1 teaspoon of salt
20g of pine nuts, toasted (optional)
20g of fat currants, or sultanas (optional)

Put the chicken thighs in a large saucepan with the water and the saffron. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and allow to poach for 10-15 minutes. Drain the chicken, but retain the water.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium/low heat and sweat the onion until very soft, probably about 10 minutes.

Add the paprika and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the chicken thighs, the prunes and about 700ml of the cooking water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is heated through.

For the rice:

Heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion for 1-2 minutes. Then add the rice and stir well so that every grain is coated in the butter.

Add the stock and salt. Stir well to combine.

Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. About 5 minutes from the end of the cooking time, stir in the pine nuts and currant, if using.

Serve the chicken and prunes with the rice and covered with the thickened sauce. (I probably didn’t thicken the sauce quite as much as the recipe intended, but a bit more liquid worked well with the dish, especially with the rice.)

Delicious. The saffron imparts a subtle but noticeable flavour to the dish and the chicken is wonderfully tender.


For the spice blend, put the spices in a spice grinder and process to a powder.

For the chicken, heat the oil in a sturdy frying pan or karahi over a medium heat, add the fennel, cinnamon and dagarful and fry for 1 minute. Add the shallots and curry leaves and fry for 10 minutes until the shallots are softened and golden.

Add the chicken and stir around for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the garlic, ginger, sugar, salt and all of the spice blend, and fry for 2 minutes. Add the water, and cook for about 10–15 minutes, stirring often and adding more splashes of water if needed to stop it sticking to the pan, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thick and reduced and clinging to the chicken.

Recipe taken from Rick Stein’s India, BBC Books.

Saffron Pear Lollipops

Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper (lightly coat parchment with nonstick spray). Have lollipop sticks, candied ginger, and extra saffron at the ready.

Place sugar and ⅛ tsp. saffron in a food processor scrape in vanilla seeds (reserve pod for another use). Pulse to combine, then transfer to a medium saucepan fitted with thermometer. Stir in corn syrup, salt, ⅓ cup liqueur, and ¼ cup water and cook over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally, until thermometer registers 300°. (Syrup will hit what is known as the hard crack stage. When cooled, it will be hard and will snap when bent.) Remove pot from heat and add remaining 1 Tbsp. liqueur, swirling pan to cool syrup slightly.

Pour half of syrup into a 1-cup heatproof measuring cup with a spout set remaining syrup aside. Working quickly, pour syrup onto prepared baking sheets to make 1” rounds (syrup will spread slightly).

Immediately place sticks in the center of each round, spinning to coat (so they stay stuck in the cooled candy). Scatter a few saffron threads and pieces of ginger on top. Repeat with remaining syrup (reheat gently if it starts to seize). Let cool.

DO AHEAD: Store lollipops airtight between sheets of parchment paper at room temperature up to 1 week.

Icelandic hotspring rye bread (page 129)

From Rick Stein's Long Weekends: Over 100 New Recipes from My Travels Around Europe Rick Stein's Long Weekends by Rick Stein

Are you sure you want to delete this recipe from your Bookshelf. Doing so will remove all the Bookmarks you have created for this recipe.

  • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory Dinner parties/entertaining Icelandic
  • Ingredients: rye flour plain flour golden caster sugar milk
  • Accompaniments:Icelandic rollmops Smoked trout pâté


1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas 6.

2. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pan over a medium–high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then place them into the hot pan, skin side down. Fry for 5–6 minutes, or until golden and crisp, then turn and fry on the other side for another 3–4 minutes.

3. Transfer to a roasting tin, skin side up, with the chorizo, red onion and sweet potato. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zest off the orange and add them to the tin, together with the rosemary, chilli flakes and remaining tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper and gently combine everything together. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the chicken and sweet potato are cooked through. Serve immediately.

Demetri Tsolakis

THERE’S SOMETHING INTIMATE about Boston—it’s almost as if it were a big city with a smalltown vibe. Steeped in American history, Boston is a city remarkable for its rich cultural life, its dynamic business scene, its revitalized waterfront, and its status as an international innovation center. The largest college town in the United States, Boston is home to 20 institutions of higher learning, including the venerable Harvard and MIT. And now, thanks to first-generation Greek-American entrepreneur Demetri Tsolakis, it’s home to one of the most exciting Greek food scenes this side of the prime meridian.

Tsolakis grew up in central Connecticut, working in his family’s gyro restaurants since he was “tall enough to pour a soda.” After a stint as an investment banker, he felt the pull of the restaurants and returned to the business determined to present Greek culinary culture in a more contemporary and true fashion. His restaurants, he says, are designed as places he would want to patronize, from the aesthetics to the food to the drink.

Tsolakis’s footprint in Bean Town began with Committee Ouzeri + Bar and has extended to fast-casual Greco, and, most recently, Krasi Meze & Wine. (Another concept is on the way, but, as not to tempt fate, Tsolakis is keeping mum about the details). Except for the fact that each concept is rooted in Greek culture, they are all very distinct from one another, with almost zero menu overlap. If that link to Greek culture forms the fabric of the restaurants, it’s Tsolakis’s deft touch as a restaurateur along with his creativity and his passion for all things Greek that are the threads tying them all together.

If the textbook on upscale Greek restaurants was written by the celebrated fish taverns in Manhattan, or the next generation Greek eateries of Chicago, it is immediately obvious upon entering his restaurants Committee or Krasi that Tsolakis has ignored those and charted a unique course. In fact, all three of the concepts that Tsolakis has created represent the epitome of perfection in each of their niches. And judging by the crowds, he is clearly onto something.


Boston Seaport

In 2015, Committee Ouzeri + Bar was launched onto the city’s restaurant scene, becoming an immediate destination within Boston’s Seaport, an area that over the past decade has completed the transformation from acres of desolate parking lots to a trendy neighborhood with a vibrant food scene and lively night life. A spacious bar, lots of communal seating, and sets of sofas command a significant share of Committee’s internal real estate, while dining areas and a tremendous outdoor patio round out the space. Tsolakis confesses that Committee is designed as a place where guests can mix with one another, making friends of strangers. And the small-plate-rich menu builds on that theme, conceived for sharing, passing, and savoring.

“Committee was designed to capture the social aspect of how Greeks eat,” he says. “We want you to talk to the person next to you.”

As one steps into Committee, it is immediately apparent that this is not your father’s Greek joint. There is no blue-and-white color scheme, no kick-you-in-the-head design elements that announce the restaurant’s Hellenic pedigree. Instead, Tsolakis has taken an unorthodox approach in representing traditional Greek social culture. The space is unapologetically hip, mixing industrial elements with natural wood brick walls with wrought-iron shelving. Succulent plants placed on each of the dining tables breathe life into the space, while wooden crates are suspended overhead. Of course, one could argue that Commit-tee has more in common from a design aspect with the eateries of Athens’s trendiest restaurant rows than the kitsch interpretations of Greek islands found across many of Greek America’s eating establishments.

In fact, regular pre-COVID trips to Greece have inspired Tsolakis to cast all of his restaurants in the image of contemporary Greece, to embrace the culture of the Greeks of today. This is evident not only in Committee’s design aesthetics but in its cuisine, its cocktails, and its approach.

To understand Tsolakis’s genius, it’s important to peel the onion layers of his restaurants, and none are more revealing than Committee. To begin, take note that the word “restaurant” (or any of its synonyms) does not appear anywhere in the establishment’s name. By moniker, Committee is an ouzeri and bar. Wikipedia describes an ouzeri as a type of Greek tavern that serves ouzo and meze. Of course, “ouzo” is loosely interpreted here to include a wide array of spirit libations. And while the menu at Committee goes beyond meze, it is centered around small plates and platters that are meant to enable guests to sample, share, and socialize. If the food is stellar (and it is), it is not Committee’s raison d’etre. That, instead, is to be a hub of socializing. For Greeks, there is no socializing without a great beverage. And as we Greeks all know, a great beverage is meant to be accompanied by a delightful bite—not necessarily by a full meal, but always by a tasty meze.

“A visit to Committee should always start with a craft cocktail,” says Tsolakis.

With just a glance at the cocktail list, it’s obvious what Tsolakis is getting at—mixology here is treated as cuisine. Flavors, textures, integrity of ingredients—these are all well-designed, well-crafted, well-conceived. Constantly morphing through the seasons, a compilation of Committee’s cocktail menus over the course of just a year or two reads like a mixology bible. Elements such as vanilla-infused Carpano Antica, pineapple black tea, muscat foam, chili-infused Absolut Elyx, botanic bitters, and hibiscus-infused mastiha are used to build drinks that defy the imagination. And because cocktail names are as traditionally creative as their components, the team at Committee has come up with some whimsical handles that tie in with the old-school rap that frequently plays over the restaurant speakers. Those include “Pump Up the Jam” (a mix of bourbon, vin douz, black raspberry, mint, and chocolate bitters), “Gangsta Pearadise” (rum, pear, ruby port, lemon, and orange juice), and “The Notorious F.I.G.” (cognac, xinomavro wine, Grand Marnier, fig, and lemon).

Of course, true to its ouzeri credentials, Committee showcases a line of Greek spirits that include four ouzos (currently two from Lesvos, one from Samos, and one distilled by Short Path Distillery in nearby Everett, Massachusetts), six tsipouros (including two aged tsipouros), and two mastihas. Committee’s wine list, with no surprise, is exclusively Greek.

On the culinary side, the menu fits neatly in the gastro-Greek niche, with creative approaches to even the most traditional of Greek menu titles as interpreted by executive chef Jerry Pabla. A red-beet tzatziki and melitzanosalata spiked with miso are just the tip of the iceberg. Purists and originalists will accuse Tsolakis and his culinary team of corrupting classic Greek staples, while progressive chefs and gourmands will embrace their combination of trahana, quinoa, almonds, raisins, herbs, and mizithra atop a barley rusk for their interpretation of dakos. Continue on and the menu reveals gems such as blistered shishito peppers served with honey from Ikaria, toasted pine nuts, and mizithra and keftedes made from roasted carrots, walnuts, and kasseri, served with petimezi-infused yogurt. A cursory scan of the ingredients in all of the menu’s dish descriptions reveal that you don’t get more Greek than this. Many ingredients, in fact, are so traditional that many Greeks are unaware of them. Take kritamo, for example, a wild weed that grows along the seashore (also known as “sea fennel”).


Boston Back Bay

When Demetri Tsolakis opened Krasi Meze & Wine, Committee had been well-established and Greco, his fast-casual Greek street-food concept, was preparing its third and fourth outposts. Nestled in the city’s Back Bay neighborhood, within walking distance of Hynes Convention Center and the Prudential Center Shop-ping Mall, Krasi opened on Valentine’s Day of 2020, just as the concerns of a rapidly spreading novel virus was commanding headlines. Exactly one month later, the restaurant (along with all other dine-in restaurants) was closed as COVID-19 restrictions blanketed the region.

“We had a very strong opening, and received great reviews,” says Tsolakis of the concept. Thankfully, the restaurant survived the shutdown and reopened in late July to a warm critical and commercial reception.

“With Krasi, we wanted to present regional Greek food and wine,” he says, intimating that the restaurant was meant to be something very different and unique from Committee and from other Greek restaurants found around the United States.

As the name suggests, wine is at the focal point of the concept.

“In Greece, we don’t drink cocktails with our meals,” observes Tsolakis. “We drink wine. Cocktails are for partying after a meal. From ancient times, it is wine that is consumed at the meal table. You see it in the artwork depicted on the ancient amphora it was at the center of the ancient symposiums. Where there was a meal, there was wine, and where there was wine, there was a meal. And it persists in this fashion to today. This is what we wanted to capture with Krasi.”

To help him to realize the concept, Tsolakis enlisted Evan Turner, a sommelier whose knowledge of Greek wines is unsurpassed in the United States. Turner says he fell in love with Greece and Greek culture when, as an 11-year-old, he moved to Greece to live with his mother and stepfather, who was a professor and had taken a job at Anatolia College in Thessaloniki teaching English.

“The very first day I arrived, after flying from connecting airport to connecting airport, my mother told me that I had to go to a dinner that the school was hosting,” recalls Turner. “You can imagine how I felt—what child that age would want to spend the evening with strange adults in a strange land? Well, that was over 30 years ago and I can tell you to this day who was there, what was served, and dozens of other details. Something unexpected happened. From that day on I was in love with the country, and I remain so to this day.”

As a sommelier working in restaurants in large cities around the country, Turner says he always added Greek wines to his list until one day, while working at a high-pro-file steak house, he had an epiphany. He realized that he had become professionally bored by re-creating wine list after wine list that seemed to be the same and more of the same. He decided, then, to turn his focus to Greek wines, giving them prominence on wine lists and educating customers along with restaurant staff and owners about them.In Tsolakis, Turner found a kindred spirit.

“There is so much unexplored variety in Greek wines,” says Tsolakis, who heralds the absence of added sugars in Greek wines, which, he says, translates to no headaches.

And so together, the pair combined their passions and expertise to elevate the profile of Greek wines in the city, with Krasi becoming one of just a handful of Greek restaurants to serve Greek wines exclusively. In fact, Krasi boasts what they believe to be the second-largest list of Greek wines in the United States. Hours prior to Estiator’s visit, the two were entertaining reporters from USA Today, who were writing an article on Greek wines.

If the restaurant’s name is the literal modern-Greek translation of the word “wine,” that’s not to dismiss Krasi’s culinary side. Under executive chef Valentine Howell and chef/partner Theo Tsilipanos (who served as executive chef at Committee prior to opening Krasi), the menu here is a showcase of regional fare found throughout Greece.

“This is not a menu you would find in Athens,” says Tsolakis, guiding me through the restaurant’s offerings. The menu (which changes seasonally) currently starts off with a bread course that includes lalangia (pencil-thin fried dough with honey, which is traditionally made in Laconia for the feast of the Epiphany), charoupi (a bread made with carob and petimezi), and tiropita rolls with halloumi and kefalograviera folded into the dough and served with butter churned on premises with honey.

This is followed by a charcuterie section that includes entries such as noumboulo (wild boar cured with coriander and red wine) and akrokolion (lamb cured with garlic and black pepper). The charcuteries served at Krasi, says Tsolakis, are made locally from traditional recipes provided by his chef (noumboulo from Corfu, and akrokolion from Evritannia, among others).

“We put great effort into sourcing great cheeses directly from Greece,” says Tsolakis, insisting that a restaurant focused on wines must have great cheeses to complement them. On its most recent menu, Krasi serves a smoked cheese from Metsovo, mastela from Chios, graviera from Naxos, manouri from Macedonia, kalathaki from Lemnos, ladotyri from Lesvos, and sfela from Messinia.

On their current menu, Chefs Howell and Tsilipanos mine the rich veins of local traditions for main plates that span from Corfu (sofrito, a slow-cooked veal dish) to Kozani (half chicken roasted with prunes and sweet paprika, with savory trahana). A daily souvla that is the focal point of the restaurant’s open kitchen alternates between pork, lamb, chicken, and kokoretsi, while servers prepare tzatziki fresh for guests tableside.

In the coming months, Tsolakis plans to open the basement of Krasi as “Hecate” (named for the goddess of the underworld), a speakeasy where he will serve a full host of cocktails.


Boston Back Bay / Seaport / Downtown

Greco, which debuted in 2017, represents Tsolakis’s foray into the fast-casual segment along with partner Stefanos Ougrinis. The segment that has no shortage of Greek concepts from coast to coast. But where many of those concepts feature the “Chicago” version of gyro, Tsolakis insists that their approach to the Greek street fare classic is “Truly Greek.” To accomplish this, hand-stacked whole muscle pork, chicken, and lamb gyro are cooked on vertical rotisseries. And along with tomato, onion, and tzatziki (ahem, make that mustard sauce for the chicken), the gyros have a few fresh-cut fries stuffed in the pitas, “just like in Greece.”

With gyro and loukoumades anchoring its menu, Tsolakis and Ougrinis have grown the initial Newberry Street Greco to four locations (one of which is opening as this issue of Estiator goes to print, following COVID-related delays). Boston’s Back Bay, Seaport, and Downtown are all homes to Greco, with another outpost slated to open inside of TD Garden, the sports complex that is host to Boston’s Celtics and Bruins franchises.

Of his three concepts, Tsolakis insists that Committee and Krasi are unique he has no plans to open a second Committee, or to turn Krasi into a chain of Greek eateries focused on Greek wines and regional Greek cuisine. Instead, Greco is his growth concept, which he believes is distinguished from the myriad other Greek fast-casual concepts exploding around the country for its authenticity. To enhance the brand, he intends to beta test an “Agora” component, which will enable customers of the eatery to purchase Greek specialty foods and ingredients for their home kitchens.

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