Chicken with Broth-Simmered Noodles and Ground Walnuts
A favorite comfort food from Thessaly, Greece is this chicken and noodles (hilopites) dish, garnished with a handful of ground walnuts.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs butter
1 large, preferably free-range, chicken, cut into serving pieces
6 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped or 1 1/2 cups good quality chopped canned tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dried mint or 2 Tbs fresh, chopped mint
1 1/4 cups small egg pasta, preferably square Greek hilopites or tubettini
1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
1. In a large, wide pot, heat the oil and butter and brown the chicken. Do this in batches if necessary.
2. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Add the onions to the pot and cook until wilted and translucent.
4. Add the chicken pieces back in, season with salt and pepper, and pour in the tomatoes. Add enough water to barely cover the chicken. Cover and simmer for about one hour, or until the chicken is very tender.
5. Add the mint about 10 minutes before the chicken is cooked.
6. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside, covered, in a warm oven.
7. Add a cup or more of water to the pot - you'll have to use your own judgment; there should be enough for the pasta to be able to boil, but once done it should be thick and soup like.
8. Add the pasta and simmer until ready.
9. Serve the pasta in a deep platter with the chicken on top, and sprinkle with the walnuts.