This Greek-style chicken dish is a one-pan wonder. Who does not love those? Also, it’s ready in under 45 minutes. The trahana pasta lends a creamy chewy bite that is so enjoyable and delicious! The whole family is going to love this easy meal.
Watch the Video Here
What is trahana?
Trahana, also know as xinohondros in Crete, is an ancient fast food. It is a tiny pasta usually made with either milk, yogurt, or sour milk and cooks up in under 10 minutes. Hence, the fast-food element of this ingredient. This pasta is made with either semolina (very common), bulgur, wheat flour, or cracked wheat. This is a very commonly used ingredient in Greece, Turkey, and parts of the Middle East.
It resembles couscous but, has SO much more character and flavor. There are two types: sweet (made with milk, and not really sweet in taste) and sour trahana. I prefer sour trahana as it has more flavor.
Where can I purchase trahana?
The best place to buy this delectable pasta is from a Greek specialty food market. Some Middle Eastern markets also carry it. Of course, if all else fails there’s always Amazon (my affiliate) and you can buy a bag right here.
The most common trahana recipe in Greek cuisine is a soup that is made with simple ingredients and topped with feta. If you would like for me to share this easy and hearty recipe please be sure to comment below in the comments section 🙂
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What type of chicken can be used for this recipe?
The kind that you already have in your freezer/refrigerator. I used chicken drumsticks because I really wanted to make this recipe for my family. We’re in a quarantine/stay at home type of situation and are limiting supermarket trips. So, we are using what we have. I love drumsticks anyway because they’re so inexpensive, the bone adds tons of flavor, and you really cannot overcook them They stay juicy!
However, you can surely use chicken breast (boneless and with the bone-in), chicken thighs (another favorite) or a whole chicken that has been cut into smaller pieces. Make sure to adjust the cooking time. Boneless breast cooks much faster than the cuts with the bone.
If using boneless breast, I suggest to brown the chicken breast (cut them into cubes first) on both sides. About 5 minutes per side. By the time they’ve finished browning, they’re practically cooked. Set them aside and do not cook them with the onions, broth, or the trahana. Instead, cook everything and then add them, in the end, to warm through once the meal is ready. This way they will retain their juiciness. I hope this makes sense. If not, comment below and I will answer your questions as best as I can.
Can this be made vegetarian?
Absolutely! Substitute your favorite veggies for the chicken. As a matter of fact, you can use my Vegetarian Bolognese sauce and then add the couscous with the remaining ingredients. You will not have to add extra onions and garlic as those ingredients are already in the sauce. Get this recipe right over here.
You can use any veggies that you have or love:
- frozen peas
- frozen broccoli
- bell peppers
Should I cook this in a cast-iron skillet?
If you watched my video, you will see that I prepared this meal in my cast iron skillet. I love cooking in it every chance I get. Especially when I’m making one-pan meals. Everything will fit, but, just barely!! So, I suggest making it in a larger pot. A 6-7 quart pot will be ideal.
- 6-8 chicken drumsticks, without skin
- 2 cups (360g) sour trahana
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 4 cups (946 ml) chicken stock or water
- 2 roasted red peppers from the jar, diced
- A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- 4 ounces (115g) feta cheese, crumbled
- Season the chicken drumsticks on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet or pot over medium heat and add ¼ cup of olive oil.
- Place the chicken in the skillet and brown 5 minutes on all sides.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onions. Cook until the onions are soft and golden. About 10 minutes.
- Add the grated garlic and warm through for a few seconds.
- Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Add the diced red peppers, the trahana, the chili flakes, salt, and pepper.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the trahana is al dente. There will still be liquid in the pot. The tarhana will soon absorb it all. Remove from the heat.
- Garnish with chopped mint and feta cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Sour trahana has a unique flavor however, if you cannot find it, feel free to substitute any of the following ingredients for it and adjust the cooking time according to package directions: • Orzo pasta, • Couscous • Rice • bulgur Feel free to substitute any cut of chicken for the drumsticks. Adjust the cooking time depending on the cut. Also, this can be made vegetarian by substituting the meat for veggies: • mushrooms • bell peppers • chickpeas/lentils • green peas