(Kokkoras me Khilopites)
Older birds, whether roosters or hens, yield particularly flavorful broth.
- 3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably from Kalamata
- 1 (6-7-lb.) stewing chicken (or rooster, if available), rinsed and patted dry
- 2 large red onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. quality tomato paste, preferably from sun-dried tomatoes
- 3⁄4 lb. dried Greek egg noodles or tagliatelle pasta, broken in half
- 3 oz. kefalotyri cheese or pecorino-romano, grated
Heat a large wide heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add 1⁄2 cup of the oil, then the chicken, and brown all over, turning chicken as skin colors, 8-12 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set pot aside to let cool briefly.
Return pot to medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and pale golden, about 15 minutes. Dissolve tomato paste in 2 cups water and add to pot. Return chicken to pot, breast side down. Generously season with salt and add enough water (4-5 cups) to reach halfway up bird. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours. Turn chicken breast side up, cover pot, and continue simmering until chicken is tender, 1 1⁄2-2 hours more.
Preheat oven to 200°. Transfer chicken to a serving dish, cover with foil, and put into oven to keep warm. Measure broth from pot. Add enough water to yield 11 cups or set any extra broth aside for another use. Return 11 cups of broth to pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add noodles and cook, stirring occasionally , until tender and swollen with most of the broth, 20-25 minutes. Add remaining oil to pot and adjust seasoning.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and pour any accumulated juices into pot with noodles. Cut chicken into pieces. Put noodles and any broth into dish, sprinkle with cheese, and arrange chicken pieces on top.