Bardounia Chicken

I am sure most of you have heard or seen the movie “300” talking about the brave resistance and the heroic death of the 300 Spartans fighting the Persians during the Persian Wars in ancient Greek history. What perhaps you may not know is that Spartan community was a very strict, military oriented society with total obedience to laws starting from the very early age of seven years old.

When a child was born, his/her mother washed it with wine instead of water in order to check his/her constitution. Later the child’s father took it to a club consisting of the Elders of the city for a second more thorough examination. If the elders thought that the child was weak, they threw it to Kaiadas cave an area down of the mountain Taygete to kill it. If the child passed the exam, stayed with its family until the age of 7. Children were left to wonder around naked, with little food, in the dark so as not to be picky and whinny.

Bardounia Chicken

From the age of seven the state took the children to educate them and train them. Up until the age of 20 the children were practicing very hard in running, jumping, arrow and discus. They were trained to endure pain, suffer from hanger and cold and sleep. They couldn’t take a hot bath and they were sleeping on reeds. Regarding their education they learned military poems and songs and some extracts from Homer’s poems. During their training, the Elders encouraged boys to steal as long as they were not caught. If they were caught, they were lashed severely with the excuse they were bad thieves. There is a legend about a boy who found a small fox and hid it under his tunic because it was forbidden. Nevertheless, the fox in her attempt to break free, started to rip the boy apart. The boy preferred and finally died instead of admitting what he did.

Girls also received a hard training but not as hard as that of boys. Their main task was to give birth to healthy children and be brave and strong. They learned to give their husbands a shield and saying to them: “Either come as a winner with this, or bring you dead on this.”

Bardounia Chicken

I was always intrigued by the discipline and hardships people in that community had to endure, which was completely different than any other city- state or civilization that emerged in Greek area. Until today, when we want to emphasize on a strict discipline or say for someone how austere a life he lives, we refer to Spartans and their life.

Today this area is called Máni and it is a beautiful, wild place in the southern part of Greece. It has many castles, remnants of Byzantine and Ottoman years and a beautiful castle in the city of Monemvasía! They have a local special dish called Bardoúnia chicken made with onions, tomato and garlic. A delicious dish that is a crowd pleaser and perfect for a cozy, homey weekend meal. I made it with some alterations to adapt it to our taste palate and added gnocchi instead of lasagna which are usually used in it.

Bardounia Chicken


5.0 from 4 reviews
Bardounia Chicken with Gnocchi in the Slow Cooker
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Greek
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 700 gr. / 1.5 lb chicken breast, boneless, skinless (in the original recipe the chicken is with skin and bone)
  • 3 onions, in thick slices (in the original recipe very small onions are used)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, cut in slices
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 ½ cup tomato juice or concasse sauce
  • 4 to 5 all spice grains
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Grated Graviera cheese or Gruyere about 1 cup (in the original recipe the graviera cheese is cut in cubes)
  • 800 gr. / 1.7 lb. potato gnocchi
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Take your slow cooker and add all the ingredients up to and with sugar.
  2. Program the slow cooker to high and cook for 2 ½ hours.
  3. Remove the chicken and the bay leaves from the cooker’s vessel and place all the other ingredients to a blender and blend until you get a thick sauce.
  4. Pour the sauce in the cooker’s vessel again.
  5. Add the gnocchi and the chicken on top and cook for 20 minutes to half hour.
  6. Remove from cooker.
  7. Take a pyrex or deep pan and place first the gnocchi on a layer.
  8. Spread some cheese and add the chicken.
  9. Finish by spreading the rest of the cheese.
  10. Broil for about five minutes or until the top starts to get a nice golden color.
  11. Remove, let rest for five minutes and serve.



5.0 from 4 reviews
Κοτόπουλο Μπαρδουνιώτικο
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Ελληνική
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 700 γρ στήθος κοτόπουλο, χωρίς κόκαλα και πέτσα (στην αρχική συνταγή το κοτόπουλο είναι με το δέρμα και το κόκκαλο)
  • 3 κρεμμύδια, σε χοντρές φέτες (στην αρχική συνταγή χρησιμοποιούνται κρεμμυδάκια στιφάδου)
  • 3 σκελίδες σκόρδο
  • 2 ψητές κόκκινες πιπεριές ή και Φλωρίνης, κομμένες σε φέτες
  • 1 φλ. ξηρό κόκκινο κρασί
  • 1 ½ φλ. κονκασέ σάλτσα
  • 4 έως 5 κόκκοι μπαχάρι
  • 1 κ.γ. πάπρικα
  • Αλάτι, πιπέρι
  • 1 κ.σ. ζάχαρη
  • Τριμμένη γραβιέρα 1 φλιτζάνι περίπου (στην αρχική συνταγή η γραβιέρα είναι κομμένη σε κύβους)
  • 800 γρ. νιόκι πατάτας
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Αν έχετε slow cooker προσθέστε όλα τα υλικά έως και τη ζάχαρη στο σκεύος.
  2. Προγραμματίστε τη σε υψηλή θερμοκρασία και μαγειρέψτε για 2 ½ ώρες.
  3. Αφαιρέστε το κοτόπουλο και τα φύλλα δάφνης και τοποθετήστε όλα τα άλλα υλικά σε ένα μπλέντερ και λιώστε τα σε μια πηχτή σάλτσα.
  4. Ρίξτε τη σάλτσα ξανά στη slow cooker.
  5. Προσθέστε τα νιόκι και το κοτόπουλο στην κορυφή και μαγειρέψτε για 20 λεπτά με μισή ώρα.
  6. Πάρτε ένα πυρέξ ή ένα βαθύ ταψί και τοποθετήστε πρώτα τα νιόκι σε ένα στρώμα.
  7. Απλώστε λίγο τυρί και προσθέστε το κοτόπουλο.
  8. Τελειώστε απλώνοντας το υπόλοιπο τυρί.
  9. Ψήστε στο γκριλ για περίπου πέντε λεπτά, ή μέχρι να πάρουν ένα ωραίο χρυσαφί χρώμα.
  10. Αφαιρέστε, αφήστε για πέντε λεπτά και σερβίρετε.
  11. Αν δεν έχετε slow cooker βάλτε όλα τα υλικά μέχρι και την ζάχαρη σε μία κατσαρόλα και βράστε σε μέτρια φωτιά για περίπου 1 ώρα.
  12. Λιώστε στο μπλέντερ όπως περιγράφω πιο πάνω.
  13. Ρίξτε τη σάλτσα στην κατσαρόλα, προσθέστε τα νιόκι και το κοτόπουλο και ψήστε για κανένα δεκάλεπτο ακόμα.
  14. Κατόπιν βάλτε τα σε ένα πυρέξ ρίξτε τη γραβιέρα και στο γκριλ για πέντε λεπτά.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Rate this recipe:  

Reload Image