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A comforting stew to cozy up to on a chilly day. Stifado is a classic Greek stew that is usually made with beef or lamb and cooked low and slow for 2 hours. This version is made with chicken and ready in under an hour. It’s still rich and flavorful and great for a busy weeknight yet, elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.
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1 (approx. 4-pounds) chicken, cut into pieces
10-12 shallots, peeled
1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, grated
1 (28-ounces) can of tomatoes, pureed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
2 bay leaves
Salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Note: The shallots can be either cooked in the Dutch oven/pot that the stew will be cooked in or in the oven. Roasting them in the oven will cut the cooking time since you can begin with the stew while the shallots are roasting in the oven. You choose!
Preheat the oven to 425 °F, 220 °C.
Place the shallots in a baking tray, drizzle with ¼ cup of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until soft and golden. About 25 minutes. Set aside.
Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and black pepper.
In the meantime, place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the chicken for 5 minutes on each side. You might have to do this in 2 batches depending on the size of your pot.
Set the chicken aside and reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic and the tomato paste and warm through for just a few seconds. Immediately add the pureed tomatoes and whisk together. Season the sauce with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, the bay leaves, and Balsamic vinegar.
Place the chicken into the sauce and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the chicken is fully cooked. Stir often so that the chicken does not burn.
Add the shallots to the pot and carefully nestle them into the sauce taking care not to mash them. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.
This stew goes great over rice or pasta, or with a salad and some toasted bread.
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