1 hr +
About this Recipe
By: Morgana Jane
This delightful, rich, savory dish is modified from a traditional Greek Stifado, which is usually made with rabbit. However, rabbit isn’t quite as popular here in North America (and certainly isn’t a hit with me…), so I have made it with chicken – and it’s divine. The flavors are rich and smooth and will please every palate.
4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs with leg attached (or 8 thighs)
2 tbsp butter
20 baby onions, peeled and left whole (see warning!) or 2 medium onions, chopped into large cubes
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle (330ml) cherry tomato sauce (or 1 1/3 c plain tomato sauce)
1 oz dry vermouth (or 1 c dry red or white wine)
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp oregano
5 sprigs fresh Rosemary, leaves pulled from 1, the rest whole
10 cracks black pepper
½ tsp salt
20 baby potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1/8 c fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 c baby spinach
Ok, so – the baby onions… Sure, they are tender and burst with flavor, but they are truly the devil’s nanny to work with. Peeling them is a lesson in complete frustration which may cause you to chuck them into the pan with the skin on. I spent more than 15 minutes peeling the little buggers – so, if you are pressed for time, opt for 2 medium onions chopped into large cubes. At the end of the day, your sanity will be intact and the dish will be just as wonderful.
Bring on the Cinnamon!
This is such a luscious dish. The flavors meld together seamlessly with a hint of cinnamon on the finish and the aroma as it’s roasting will have you drooling in anticipation.
It’s a definite crowd pleaser and perfect for chilly winter nights.
Step by Step Instructions
Set the oven to 350°.
Melt the butter in a large cast iron pan (it will need a lid when it goes into the oven – or you can use a Dutch oven) over high heat and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté until the onions begin to brown then add the vermouth (or wine) and deglaze the pan (let the vermouth/wine boil and scrape the crispified bits from the bottom and side of the pan). Next add the tomato sauce, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, oregano, Rosemary, salt, and pepper, maintain a hard boil, stir to combine, and let the sauce reduce a little, then add the chicken back to the pan along with 3 Rosemary sprigs, cover and pop the pan into the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through and ready to fall off the bone and an internal temperature of 165° or more.
Once the chicken is in the oven boil the baby potatoes in salted water along with the last sprig of rosemary, for about 10 minutes, until about ½ cooked through then drain well, return them to the pot with 2 tbsp olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Gently toss the potatoes (you don’t want the skins to break) until evenly coated, then transfer them to a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them into the oven along with the chicken.
When the chicken is cooked through remove it from the oven. Crank the temperature up to 395° and let the skins on the potatoes crisp up while you plate everything else. If the stew sauce is very soupy (which it may be if you used wine in the sauce) remove the chicken to a plate and place it on a warm spot on the stove. Place the skillet with the sauce over high heat and bring to a hard boil, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduces to a thicker consistency, then turn off the heat and return the chicken to the pan.
Share the baby spinach to one side of 4 plates. Serve the chicken alongside, ladle a generous scoop of sauce over the chicken, and share the potatoes over the spinach. All that’s left to do is sit down and enjoy the warm and welcoming flavors of the classic Greek dish that you have prepared for dinner! (Who knew you were such a culinary genius!)