There are many versions of this easy, home-style Greek dish. Some cooks use sheep’s milk yoghurt so substitute that if you like. If you can’t get kefalotiri (a hard, pungent Greek cheese), pecorino or parmesan make a wholly acceptable alternative.
- 2 double chicken breasts, on the bone, skin on
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 250 ml (1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
- 75 g (½ cup) plain flour, for dusting, plus 35 g (¼ cup) for yoghurt mixture
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 large pinch grated nutmeg
- 2½ tbsp finely chopped dill
- 80 g (1 cup) grated kefalotiri or pecorino (see Note)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Using a large, sharp knife, cut down the middle of each double breast, through the bone, to give 2 breasts. Cut each breast in half on the diagonal, under the wing joint. Trim off any excess bone and fat, leaving skin on. Dust the chicken well with ½ cup flour, shaking off excess. Season chicken well with salt and pepper (chicken is best seasoned before dusting with flour, otherwise hardly any will stick).
Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium, add the onions and cook for 7-8 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a 2-litre (8 cup) capacity roasting dish, reserving frying pan. Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium, add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Place the chicken over the onion in a single layer.
In a bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, flour, eggs, nutmeg, dill and 50 g (⅔ cup) of the cheese and season to taste. Spoon mixture over the chicken to cover it, then sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until yoghurt mixture is golden and set.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.