A delicious, bright one-pot stew with chicken thighs, okra and feta.
I received about a pound of okra with my CSA from Green Gate Farms this week. Okra seems to be one of those divisive vegetables - you either love it or you hate it. I haven't cooked a lot of Greek food on this blog yet but it's got to be one of my favorite foods. At least in my top five. Greek cuisine emphasizes freshness and intense but simple flavors.
I have the benefit of a Greek yaya at my disposal whenever I need ideas for recipes. Luckily, okra is a common ingredient in Greek cooking and my yaya is an excellent cook. This is a recipe she shared with me that uses 5 of my CSA ingredients in one amazing one-pot dish: tomatoes, okra, garlic, onions and scallions.
This recipe can also easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding tofu or simply pairing the okra stew with brown rice or potatoes.
Greek Chicken and Okra Stew with Feta and Lemons
4 chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pounds okra, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound tomatoes, grated into a small bowl, removing as much skin as possible
1 tablespoon tomato paste diluted in 1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
½ pound feta, crumbled
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
In a large glass bowl, soak the okra in the vinegar for 1-2 hours.
Liberally sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt. In a large pot, over medium heat, add the olive oil and the chicken, browning each side but not cooking through. Remove from heat, set aside and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, drain the vinegar back into a bottle and reserve for future use. Set aside 2 tablespoons for the sauce.
In the same pot, add a bit more olive oil and return to medium high heat. Brown the okra. Set aside. Return the pot to medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and add the sliced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to brown. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the grated tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until most of the water is cooked off. Add the tomato paste with water and allspice. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding water as it cooks off. Add the okra and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Add the chicken, a bit more water or stock and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately, in a serving dish. Garnish with the feta, scallions and parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.