Galopoula me Freska Kremydakia

Braised Turkey (or Chicken) with Scallions, Lemon and Dill

IN THIS flavorful dish, the poultry is simmered with plenty of scallions, some wine and lemon juice and seasoned with dill at the last moment. The sauce is often thickened with egg, but I prefer the lighter version, where the broth is simply thickened by the pureed scallions. Serve it with rice or a small pasta, such as orzo, which will take on a delicious flavor tossed in the lemony sauce.

The dish is adapted from a recipe for lamb that I found in the very interesting old kitchen ledger of the Chian Choremi family, part of the Choremi-Benaki clan, a large wealthy family of cotton merchants and politicians.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 turkey drumsticks or thighs from free-range chickens (about 2½ pounds)
  • 3 large bunches scallions (white and most of the green parts), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup Chicken Stock or water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3–4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill

Method

In a large, deep skillet with a lid or a Dutch oven, heat the oil and sauté the drumsticks or thighs over medium-high heat, turning often until golden on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the scallions to the skillet and sauté, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes.

Arrange the drumsticks or thighs on top of the scallions. Add the wine, stock or water and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn the meat over, cover and continue simmering for 20 minutes more (chicken will need less cooking time than turkey). Carefully remove the meat with tongs and set aside on a plate.

Puree the sauce in a blender or food processor and return it to the pan. Add the meat, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and all but 1 teaspoon of the dill. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the meat is very tender. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, pepper and lemon juice, if desired. If the sauce is too thin, cook over high heat to reduce it. Serve over rice or pasta, sprinkled with the reserved dill.

Variation

If you like, thicken the sauce with egg, making an avgolemono: Add only 1½ tablespoons of the lemon juice to the pan. When the drumsticks or thighs have cooked in the pureed sauce, remove them with a slotted spoon and place on a platter; keep warm. Beat 1 large egg in a bowl with 3 tablespoons water. Gradually add the remaining 2½ tablespoons lemon juice and most of the sauce from the pan, whisking constantly. Return the sauce to the pan and reheat very gently over low heat, stirring constantly. Pour over the drumsticks or thighs, sprinkle with the reserved dill and serve.

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