Chicken Stew from Greece
6 T. butter
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 (4-lb.) chicken, cut into serving-size pieces
3 medium-size onions, grated on largest holes of a grater
1 T. tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 C. water
1 bouquet garni, consisting of 1 t. cumin seeds, 1 stick cinnamon, 3 allspice berries, 1 clove and 2 bay leaves, tied in cheesecloth
12 to 14 small onions, a combination of red and white (1 to 1 1/4 lbs. total), peeled
6 oz. kefalotyri OR kashkaval cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (available in Greek OR Middle Eastern markets; you could use a young pecorino cheese in place of kefalotyri)
In a large casserole, melt 4 T. butter over medium-high heat with olive oil. Once butter stops sizzling and is beginning to turn light brown, brown chicken pieces on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Add grated onion, cook 1 or 2 minutes, then add diluted tomato paste. Add bouquet garni, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Add whole onions and cook, covered, until chicken and onions are fork-tender, 45 to 60 minutes more.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Once butter stops sizzling, cook cheese cubes until crispy on one side, about 1 minute. Scrape them up with a metal spatula (make sure the crust doesn’t stick to pan) and cook other side until crispy. Remove from pan and add to chicken stew. Cook until they begin to melt, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately, discarding bouquet garni.
Makes 4 servings.