Cock-a-Doodle-Doo: Braised Rooster with Noodles

by Sava

This is not your typical 4th of July fare but it is a story about people related to us, who fought fiercely for their independence.You don’t have to cook this today if you already have your heart set on ribs and hot dogs. Just keep it handy for the next time you want to try a new recipe that is simple and delicious!

Driving on the Mani Peninsula where my mother’s side of the family was from, my sister exclaims over the “eerie beauty of this landscape. The tower houses on every hill puncture the blue Mani sky like soldiers standing guard. The history speaks of the wild independence of the inhabitants to protect the area from the occupying Ottoman Empire. Even our family has a story of our great-great grandfather saving his village of Neohori from an invading Turk. They started calling him Kyrie Kakakos, suggesting “the one who killed the bad guy”.” And so goes one of our journal entries, though in more detail than this, as we travelled through the area we’ve heard about, tales from my mother’s family over the Thanksgiving gatherings of our childhood. We arrived back in Gythio at dinnertime and decided on the taverna we could walk to from our hotel, after asking our concierge, Costa, for suggestions. The waiter went on and on about the rooster and pasta dish, so Dan and Georgia ordered that while I had pasta with mizithra and brown butter and Floyd ordered the pasta Bolognese. We were all very happy with our dinner choices, but after tasting each others’ meal decided the rooster with noodles was quite exceptional. Making it here at home, we substitute chicken for the rooster, since we don’t “often” see rooster in the poultry section of our grocery store, do you? Hmmm…???

1/4 c each butter and olive oil                                                           1 T Greek oregano

1 large onion coarsely chopped                                                         Salt and pepper

1 1/2 lbs of rooster or chicken cut in pieces                                 4 c chicken broth

1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes                                                               1 lb flat noodles

1 c water

Put the oil and the butter in a pot and heat until the butter melts. Sauté the  onions for about 5 minutes. Add the rooster/chicken portions, browning on all sides, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water and cook gently for another 45 minutes. Finally add the 4 cups of chicken broth, bring it to a boil, then add the noodles and continue cooking for another 15 minutes until the noodles are done. Check for seasoning. Noodles will probably need more salt.

This is a very simple but very flavorful dish. We enjoy it often.

I didn’t happen to mention that while we were driving our rented car through the beautiful landscape of Mani, we got a flat tire. Have you ever wondered what would happen in a foreign country in a rented car if you got a flat? I will continue the story at a later date…it is quite funny and helps to have “a Costa”, our Greek concierge, on your side!!

Happy Independence Day, and enjoy the fireworks wherever you may be but be safe!!

See you next time. Yassou!!

PS If you want our summer recipe for Greek Potato Salad look at an earlier blog. Probably last July 4th! Thanks!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

georgia cone July 5, 2012 at 8:09 am

Elizabeth,
Weren’t our adventures in Mani among the most memorable and delicious ?
Since our Yaya came from there the food from that region was so familiar . Mom and all the aunts cooked in the best Mani tradition which included using tomatoes with fresh lemon , a combo not popular in other cuisines. It is easy for us to replicate these recipes; what is impossible is to find the blue wooden chairs and table by the intimate turquoise cove to enjoy the perfectly fried pale golden calamari with the local bright and cool white wine. Only in Greece!
Yia mas!!

Sava July 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Yes, Jo, they were! You are so right about the difficulty in replicating the blues: the chairs, the tables, the water…the ambience of the experience is impossible to even describe! Lovel, lovely lovely. Thanks for the memories you are invoking!!! Yassou!

Tessa Cone July 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Oh, so sweet! Great story and amazing sounding recipe. Will need to try this one this weekend. What a FABULOUS website! Thank you thank you thank you!!

Trio July 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Sava, have never had this chicken dish. Have had wings and spinach but not this one. Can’t wait to try it. xxxx

Sava July 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Tessa, I am so happy you like “us”. Please let me know when you try the recipe, OK? Have you looked at any other recipes here? We really love this one! Please come back often and leave me a note! Thanks, Sweetie! Yassou!

Sava July 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Hi Trio, I’m not familiar with a wings and spinach recipe… is it a family recipe? Try this one. I know you will love it! Thanks for being a “faithful reader”!! Yassou!

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