I love making tomato-based dishes, known as kokkinista (literally meaning “reddened”) and yiahni in Greek. Obviously versatile dishes, they can be made with a variety of seasonal ingredients; with any meat or vegetable available; and can easily be taken from basic to exceptional with a few herbs and spices.
In summer months, kotopoulo (chicken) kokkinisto makes for a much lighter dish than beef or lamb cooked in tomato. And more often than not, a main dish of just vegetables cooked this way graces our dinner table when the warm summer weather calls for lighter fare.
Here I combined some chicken thighs (a flavorful and, more importantly, cost-effective option) with some fresh green beans and added some Hungarian paprika and cayenne pepper for a little heat.
Pikantiko Kotopoulo me Fassolakia–Spiced Chicken with Green Beans
1/4 cup olive oil
8 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 1/2 lbs. green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Handful of dill, finely chopped
Handful of parsley, finely chopped
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Season chicken with some salt and pepper and add to the pot. Brown well on both sides then throw in the onion and garlic. Shake the pot to combine, then add the plain paprika, Hungarian paprika and cayenne pepper. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with some salt and pepper; bring to a boil, cover then lower heat to a simmer and cook chicken about 25 minutes or so. (Add some water or a bit of chicken or vegetable stock to the pot if necessary.)
Add the green beans to the pot, shake the pot and stir green beans lightly to coat with sauce. Cover the pot and cook until the green beans are tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the dill and parsley, adjust seasonings and serve with plenty of bread.