halloumi-chicken

Cyprus is a small island with a long history and a rich culture that spans 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest civilizations in the Mediterranean. Situated at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa – the island’s unique geographic position has played an important part in its turbulent past since antiquity. Its Prehistoric Age inhabitants were joined 3500 years ago by the Mycenaean Greeks, who introduced and established their civilization, thus permanently instilling the island’s Greek roots. Many other cultures followed thereafter, including Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Romans, Franks, Venetians, Ottomans and British, who all left behind visible remnants of their passage, and have thus created a mosaic of different cultures and periods.

halloumi-chicken

As such, the island is an open-air museum of prehistoric settlements, classical Greek temples, Roman theatres and villas, Early Christian basilicas, Byzantine churches and monasteries, Crusader castles, Gothic cathedrals, Venetian fortifications, Moslem mosques, and British colonial-style buildings. The old ways of life, customs and traditions are still beautifully preserved in the rural villages, and interesting elements of the island are captured in the many museums and galleries. It is not surprising then that UNESCO includes a number of the island’s sights on its list of World Heritage Sites. Whilst the preservation of historical sites and riches is of the upmost priority for the island, these efforts are in stark contrast with the unfortunate reality that a large part of its cultural heritage remains under Turkish occupation since July 1974, and has been subjected to severe damage. But when visiting Cyprus, you will never have to look far to find a piece of its history and culture, whether you want to discover more about the traditions of the island, or immerse yourself in its captivating past. (Source: visitcyprus.com)

halloumi-chicken

The island’s most famous cheese, Halloumi, has a distinctive texture and is fantastic uncooked or cooked (grilled or fried). This white, semi-hard cheese has been produced on the island for centuries and is traditionally prepared with a precise quantity of goat or sheep’s milk in order to qualify as authentic Halloumi. It can also be made with cow’s milk or even a mix of all three milks. Mint is often added to this salty cheese, and it has a long shelf life.

Halloumi is made in special large bronze containers where, after adding the rennet, the milk curds are removed from the heat, strained very well and then wrapped in a piece of cloth with a heavy object placed on top to squeeze out any remaining whey. The cheese is then cut into pieces and submerged once again into hot whey until it rises to the surface. The pieces are then taken out of the container and placed in salt and mint, folded in two and left to cool. It is finally submerged once again into hot whey.

There are so many ways to enjoy Halloumi and all my family loves it! This past Sunday I had a package of it in my fridge and I thought of making this chicken smothered under the pile of Halloumi cheese and small colorful peppers and cherry tomatoes. It was absolutely delicious!

Halloumi Chicken

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Halloumi Smothered Chicken with Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 700 gr. / 25 oz. chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
  • 170 gr. / 6 oz. halloumi cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 200 gr. / 7 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 10 small red, yellow, orange peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for sautéing
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. In a skillet pour some olive oil and sauté the chicken pieces from both sides.
  2. Remove and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet pour the wine and drop the chives and let boil until it loses half of its volume.
  4. Add the chicken stock, sugar and the tomato sauce and boil for couple of minutes until they lose half of their volume.
  5. In the meantime preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
  6. Place the chicken pieces, the cherry tomatoes and the garlic cloves in a deep pan or a pyrex.
  7. Throw the sprigs, the basil and the parsley.
  8. Pour on top the tomato/wine sauce.
  9. Cover the chicken pieces with the halloumi cheese.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the peppers are done and the halloumi cheese has made a nice crust on top.

 
5.0 from 3 reviews
Κοτόπουλο με Χαλούμι, Χρωματιστές Πιπεριές και Ντοματίνια
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 700 γρ. στήθη κοτόπουλου, χωρίς πέτσα, χωρίς κόκαλα
  • 170 γρ. Χαλούμι, τριμμένο
  • 3 κ.σ. ψιλοκομμένο σχοινόπρασο
  • 1 φλ. ξηρό κόκκινο κρασί
  • 1 φλ. ζωμό κοτοπούλου
  • 1 φλ. σάλτσα ντομάτας
  • 200 γρ. ντοματίνια
  • 10 μικρές πιπεριές κόκκινες, κίτρινες, πορτοκαλί
  • 2 σκελίδες σκόρδο
  • 2 κλωναράκια φρέσκια ρίγανη
  • 2 κλωναράκια φρέσκο εστραγκόν
  • 5-6 φύλλα φρέσκο βασιλικό, ψιλοκομμένο
  • 3 κ.σ. ψιλοκομμένο φρέσκο μαϊντανό
  • 1 κ.σ. ζάχαρη
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι
  • Ελαιόλαδο για σοτάρισμα
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Σε ένα τηγάνι ρίχνουμε λίγο ελαιόλαδο και σοτάρουμε τα κομμάτια κοτόπουλου από τις δύο πλευρές.
  2. Αφαιρούμε και αφήνουμε στην άκρη.
  3. Στην ίδια κατσαρόλα ρίχνουμε το κρασί και το σχοινόπρασο και αφήνουμε να βράσει μέχρι να χάσει το μισό του όγκου του.
  4. Προσθέτουμε τον ζωμό, τη ζάχαρη και την ντομάτα και βράζουμε για μερικά λεπτά μέχρι να χάσουν το μισό του όγκου τους.
  5. Εν τω μεταξύ προθερμαίνουμε το φούρνο στους 200° C.
  6. Τοποθετούμε τα κομμάτια του κοτόπουλου, τα ντοματίνια και τις σκελίδες σκόρδου σε ένα βαθύ ταψί ή σε ένα πυρέξ.
  7. Ρίχνουμε τα κλωνάρια, το βασιλικό και το μαϊντανό.
  8. Ρίχνουμε από πάνω τη ντομάτα.
  9. Καλύπτουμε τα κομμάτια του κοτόπουλου με το χαλούμι.
  10. Ψήνουμε για περίπου 20 λεπτά ή μέχρι να γίνουν οι πιπεριές και το χαλούμι να έχει κάνει μια ωραία κρούστα από πάνω.

 

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