When I was a little girl, I would visit my grandparents in Chicago for a few weeks every year. My Papou (grandfather – in Greek) owned and operated a beautiful produce market and was famous for his fruit baskets. He loved to garden, and he was known to grow the most amazing, and beautiful raspberry bushes. He would wake up at 4:00 am and my Yiayia (grandmother – in Greek) would drive him to work. My Papou, an immigrant from Laconia of Peloponnese, he never got his license and could not drive in this country.
Like most immigrants, he worked extremely hard to provide for his family and would rarely be home. Except for lunch, often known as a midday meal or pre-siesta in Greece. One of my more prominent memories was the scent of his hard work and sweat when he came home for lunch. My Yiayia, was also working. She not only raised eight children, she was a “Martha Stewart” before her time. She was famous for making a meal stretch… which essentially, made her notorious for feeding more than a typical family of four… every night. My grandparents found great joy in inviting those less fortunate in for not only a meal, but also into their lives. They had a makeshift soup-kitchen of their own.
Today, when I made Chicken Kapama, I had my Yiaiya on my mind. She made this dish often, the scents and herbs deeply touched me as I picked through them at the store. One major difference between my recipe and hers, was that my Yiayia used to placed the raw noodles within the boiling pot of sauce. This would create a starchy, yet extremely rich texture from both the sauce and noodles, marinating, together.
Chicken Kamapa — it’s tastes, it’s smells, and the process of making it, somewhat defines home. I find the most beautiful and raw aspect of recreating memorable meals comes with the person creating it or enjoying it. I hope my Chicken Kapama will spark or create a beautiful and full memory from within you and your home.
Chicken KapamaPrint Recipe
- 1 Whole chicken cut up into 8 pieces
- 1 Tablespoon of garlic
- Enough Olive oil to cover of the pan you are using
- 1 Large onion
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Can of Hunts tomatoes sauce
- 1 Can of Hunts dices tomatoes
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 1 Hungarian hot pepper
- 1 Bag of square cut Greek noodles, rice or noodles your choice
- Grated cheese
Wash chicken and dry it on a paper towel
Season with salt, pepper, oregano and juice from a whole lemon
Let rest in the refrigerator for a least one hour
Add olive oil to the bottom on a frying pan
Add seasoned chicken and brown on both sides
Remove from the pan
Take the oil and chicken bits and pour into a large pot
Add garlic, onion, and hot pepper and saute
Add a splash of red wine
Place the browned chicken in the large pot
Add the tomato product
Add 1 Cinnamon Stick before simmering
Simmer for 1 hour
Boil the noodles or rice
Place the sauce on top of the noodles with a piece of chicken
Sprinkle with grated cheese
You can use noodles or rice Boiling the noodles in the sauce in fantastic, however it will reduce the amount of the sauce