Braised Chicken with Quince

On Chios, quinces are paired with free-range chicken; on Crete, with lamb; and on Lesbos, with veal. With quince from our trees on Kea I make a stew with the  delicious local veal shank, but I also cook pork with quince. I give any meat extra flavor by tying the cores of the fruit in cheesecloth and adding them to the cooking broth. This recipe is a somewhat faster version variation of my Veal Stew with Quince.



Serves 6 (more…)


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MAGIRITSA –Easter Lamb Soup

Magiritsa is traditionally made with the parts of the lamb not used for spit-roasting. Remember that Greek Easter lambs are very small (about 24 pounds). In the classic recipe, all the innards –heart, lungs, and so forth– go into the pot, but they do not really contribute to taste. The flavor of the stock comes from the boiled head and neck, and the soup gets its distinctive taste from scallions, fresh dill, and egg-and-lemon sauce. There are lots of different magiritsa recipes.

Adapted from The Foods of Greece.




A friend described to me the one her family prepared in Halki, a small island in the Dodecanese. In her family’s version, no innards are used because, on Halki as on all the Dodecanese islands, people do not roast the lamb on a spit, but slow roast it in a wood-burning oven, stuffing the cavity with rice and chopped innards. In Halki’s magiritsa, many lamb’s heads were boiled to make a very tasty stock. The heads were not boned, but as they cooked for many hours, even the bones softened. Each member of the family got one head and ate it with the broth. No scallions or dill were added to that unusual magiritsa. (more…)


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Chicken-Rice-Onion-Feta Pie with Olive oil-Egg Topping

Kotopita from Epirus, as we call it, is my friend Stamatia Stylou’s delicious version. Stamatia comes from Livena, a Greek village in southern Albania, or ‘northern Epirus’ as the region was called in my father’s time.  



Incidentally my paternal grandmother came from the broader area, but we have never seen her cooking or learned about any of the foods she used to prepare. She lived with my father’s sister and I don’t think I have ever seen her dressed with anything but her nightgown whenever we visited them. 

On Kea we make this delicious chicken pie with local free-range rooster—about three times the price of the supermarket chicken!



For a 15-inch round pan (serving 8-10)



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