Pastitsada is a traditional Greek local specialty from the island of Corfu. It's made with chicken marinated in wine and spices, that's slowly cooked in a luscious tomato sauce. Served on top of macaroni pasta. This flavorful comfort food is a must-try!
Traditionally it's made with a whole chicken that you cut into portions. Because we usually don't use storebought chicken stock in Greece, in most recipes we use chicken (or meat in general) that's whole and contains bones.
This way, while you slowly cook the meat you get more flavor out of the bone marrow (which is what you get from a stock anyways).
I made this recipe using only chicken thighs though, because they do come with a bone, and to me are the most tender and flavorful part of the chicken.
How To Make Pastitsada
You start by marinating the chicken (preferably overnight) in sweet red wine, cloves, allspice, bay leaf, and cinnamon. Then brown the chicken on all sides in olive oil, after coating with flour.
Set chicken aside, and in the same pot make the sauce, by cooking onion and garlic. Add chicken back to the pot, along with the marinade, fresh tomato, and tomato sauce.
Seve It With...
But if let's say you're not into macaroni, you can choose any other hollow pasta you like. Like penne for example. Now you may wonder why does the pasta has to be hollow? I was wondering this myself, but I guess it's because the sauce is very rich and flavorful and a more airy, not so dense pasta suits it better.
Pastitsada - Greek Chicken In Tomato Sauce With Macaroni
- 1200 grams /2 lb 10 oz chicken thighs
- 300 ml sweet red wine
- 5-6 pieces of allspice
- 5-6 pieces of cloves
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- olive oil
- 500 grams / 17.6 oz Macaroni pasta or other hollow pasta
- Marinade chicken thighs in the 300 ml of wine along with all the spices overnight.
- Heat a good splash of olive oil in a cooking pot over high heat.
- Remove chicken from marinade (do not throw away marinade) and coat with flour.
- Brown chicken thighs on all sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In same cooking pot, reduce heat to medium, add another splash of olive oil (if needed) and saute the onion and garlic until softened.
- Add the fresh tomato and tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes more while stiring constantly.
- Add the chicken back to the pot and pour the martinade on top.
- Add 0,5 liter of water, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 1 hour. Or until sauce thickens.
- Cut macaroni in half, and cook according to package instructions.
- Serve with Greek Gruyere cheese, Romano cheese, or even Feta cheese.
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