Chicken with Spices “Politika”
A fragrant and inviting blend of spices infuses this chicken dish with very warm flavors. The Greeks call this blend of spices politika meaning “of the city” a reference to the city of Constantinople or modern day Istanbul.
This dish is absolutely delicious served over rice or orzo pilaf and will fill the kitchen with the most delightful cooking aromas.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Yield: 6 – 8 Servings
- 1 whole chicken, approximately 3 ½ lbs. cut into 8 pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 8 oz. white mushrooms, quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Cheesecloth for wrapping spices
- 1 piece of orange peel, about 2 inches wide, white pith removed
- Small piece of cinnamon stick, about an inch long
- 2 whole cloves
- 10 whole allspice pods
- Seeds from one pod cardamom, (sliced open and scraped)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ cups water or chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Brown the chicken pieces until a deep golden color and remove to a platter. Discard all but two tablespoons of the remaining fat in the pot.
- Add the onions and mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Tie the orange peel, cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice, cardamom seeds, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth. Place the spice bundle in the pot.
- Return the chicken pieces to the pot with the juices, add water (broth) and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat to low, cover and simmer for 35 – 40 minutes.
- Five minutes prior to the end of cooking, add ½ tsp. nutmeg and adjust salt and pepper as needed.