This Frikase is not Fricassee. This Frikase recipe is Greek – a super tender chicken dish cooked up with romaine lettuce, then swirled (NOT stirred) with a lip-smacking egg lemon sauce. Even reheated two days later, it was still yummy. I just love lemon-flavored Greek eats.
In all honesty, the concept sounded terrible to me – cooked lettuce is just weird-sounding. But it is simple to make and tastes divine, I am not kidding. And getting here was as much fun as eating the Frikase. It took a Silent Auction.
Silent auctions are a source of fun for Larry and me. At the recent IACP conference in New York, my eye went STRAIGHT to the offer of an in-home Greek cooking class available in Los Angeles. I hovered, I stalked, I bid, I won!
It was an evening orchestrated by the darling Greek foodie, Diana Moutsopoulos, who happens to be an editor of AllRecipes.com. Her contact info is below. Being around her in the kitchen, it was obvious she knows her stuff. Greek cooks, my favorite.
This gal came with a bonus… she was born and raised in Wisconsin (my family’s Olde Country). From there, she lived in Athens (honed her culinary brilliance at the hands of Greek Aunts), plus London, India and a few other places. She’s now in LA, lucky for us!
On to the food… Gloriously Greek. NOTE: FOOD IN THESE PHOTOS ARE A LARGER QUANTITY THAN THE RECIPE, BELOW, which serves 4. Our cooking class had seven students, good friends excited to try their hand at Greek cooking. I’ll spread the recipes over several posts, so let’s get started here with the mouthwatering cooked lettuce and chicken in egg lemon sauce… Frikase!
Like the idea of a Greek cooking class in your LA-area home? CONTACT: Diana Moutsopoulos, firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-486-1589
Frikase – Greek Chicken and Lettuce in Egg Lemon Sauce by Diana Moutsopoulos – Recipe Serves 4
- 4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 bone-in skinless chicken pieces (thighs, breasts, and/or drumsticks)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 4 large or 6 small-medium heads romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 3 eggs
- Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large 6 qt. pan. When very hot and shimmering, add the chicken. Brown well on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
Once browned, add the green onion and cook for a minute. Start adding handfuls of the chopped romaine, sprinkling with a bit of salt after each “layer.” You won’t be able to fit in all the romaine in one go, but no worries! Add as much romaine as you can, cover and wait until he romaine in the pan has cooked down. Add the remaining romaine, along with the fresh dill. Do not stir; leave the chicken at the bottom of the pan.
Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, till the chicken is done and nearly falling off the bone and the romaine is tender. Taste the juice in the pan and add more salt if desired.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the eggs and lemon juice. Mix the cornstarch with a little water and add to the egg mixture.
Take the chicken off the heat. Tilt the pan to catch the juices at the bottom of the pan with a ladle. Pour the hot juices into the egg mixture in a slow and steady stream while beating vigorously. Continue this process until you’ve used most of the juice in the pan.
Pour all of the egg mixture into the pan and place over low heat. Do not stir; shake the pan in a circular motion to evenly distribute the egg lemon sauce. Keep over a low heat until the sauce just barely comes to a simmer. Watch intently and remove from the heat as soon as you see the first one or two bubbles rise to the surface.
TIP: never cover the pan after adding the egg lemon mixture; the condensation promotes separation of the sauce.
Makes 4 servings. Each portion should consist of one piece of meat over a full plate of greens. Serve with crusty bread for mopping up the sauce.
This dish is even more delicious made with goat or lamb. If using goat or lamb, increase the cooking time to 60-90 minutes, or till the meat is tender.
You can use curly endive instead of romaine for this dish. Endive is heartier and would pair especially well with goat or lamb.
The number of eggs you use is really up to you – you can use as little as two, or you can add more for a richer sauce.
Watch the amount of liquid that you have in the final stages of cooking. If there’s too much liquid, cook uncovered for the final 5 to 10 minutes before tempering the eggs to yield a thicker sauce.