An ultra flavorful chicken in tomato sauce with pasta cooked Greek-style. Made with whole chicken leg quarters (I'll tell you why in a bit), sweet and delicious flavors of red pepper, cinnamon, dried oregano, and thyme. And a very yummy traditional Greek pasta that's called Hilopites.
Why use whole chicken leg quarters?
Mainly for two reasons, for one, the bone keeps the meat more mellow and juicy. For two the bone also releases collagen into the sauce which equals more flavor, and a more glazy sauce.
And since in Greece we rarely use chicken stock when cooking, we always opt for meat parts that can give that flavor. Since chicken stock is mostly made of chicken bones. As you can see in my easy homemade chicken stock recipe.
Hilopites are a type of Greek pasta that's made with milk, eggs, semolina, and flour. It's a very tasty pasta that looks very similar to Italian Fettuccine. You can also find it cut into small squares.
You can even buy Hilopites online or simply substitute them with Fettuccine.
And now that we've covered the basics let me tell you that the sauce in this recipe is absolutely incredible. As it is both made with tomato passata and fresh tomatoes. Plus the flavorings (sweet red peppers, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cinnamon) give it a more Eastern flavor profile.
How To Make Chicken With Hilopites
First, you need to sear the chicken legs. To do this coat them in flour and sear in a hot splash of olive oil inside a cooking pot. Then remove the chicken legs and in the same pot saute the onion, garlic, and peppers. Add the wine and once it evaporates, add both types of tomatoes (tomato sauce + fresh) as well as the seasonings.
Cook the chicken for about an hour covered, on medium-low. Or until the sauce thickens nicely. If the sauce hasn't got very thick after an hour simply turn the heat to medium-high and cook uncovered for a couple of minutes more.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to its package instructions. Just make sure you cook it 2 minutes less than what it calls for. So the pasta is very al dente in order to be able to finish cooking it inside the chicken sauce.
Strain pasta well and then after removing the chicken legs from the pot add the cooked pasta. NOTE: Make sure the sauce is thickened and not liquidy before you add the pasta to it. Then cook for 1-2 minutes more on medium-high heat. And you're ready to serve with plenty of crumbled feta cheese on top.
Chicken In Tomato Sauce With Pasta (Hilopites)
- 2 large chicken legs
- olive oil
- 1 medium-sized (120 grams) onion minced
- 3 large garlic cloves chopped
- ½ medium-sized (70 grams) sweet red pepper finely diced
- 75 ml white wine
- 250 grams (1 cup) tomato sauce (Passata)
- 2 medium-sized (340 grams) ripe tomatoes grated with hand grater
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 200 grams / 7 oz Hilopites pasta or Fettuccine these are the Hilopites I use
- crumbled feta cheese to serve with
- Heat a generous splash of olive oil in a cooking pot over medium-high heat.
- Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Coat in flour and shake to remove excess.
- Add chicken to the pot and sear on both sides. Until it gets a deep golden brown color. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.
- Turn heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, and peppers. Cook until softened.
- Pour in the wine and add the chicken back to the pot.
- Cook until wine evaporates completely.
- Then add the grated tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, thyme, and oregano, and sugar.
- Pour enough water into the pot to partly cover the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Wait until it gets to a simmer.
- Then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for about 1 hour. Or until the sauce thickens. You may turn the heat up a bit if the sauce is still too liquid.
- In another pot cook, the pasta for 2 minutes less than the time stated on its package. We want the pasta to be really al dente as it's going to get cooked inside the sauce as well. Once cooked drain the pasta in a strainer.
- Remove the chicken from the pot. Heat the sauce over medium-high heat and toss in the pasta. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Serve the chicken over the pasta along with crumbled feta cheese and enjoy!
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