I’ve had this recipe for many, many years and never decided to make it because of its not-so-appealing name. I will not reveal the name until the very end of this post because you, just like I was, will be tempted to just forget about it. But, the truth of the matter is, that it is absolutely delicious and even my nine year old son (who is the Official Family Food Critic) gave it a 9 1/2 out of 10. Of course, I made my little changes to the original recipe: I pre-cooked the onion to make sure it would be soft and light, I reduced the feta and oregano, and substituted most of the butter with olive oil. I also took into consideration the Food Critic’s comments and I am presenting it to you, hoping that you will like it as much as we did!
- 1 whole chicken, preferably organic
- 3 cups rice (2 1/2 long grain rice + 1/2 soup rice)
- 3 medium white onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Greek feta cheese (preferably DODONI) crumbled
- 4 tablespoons Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoon butter
- salt & pepper
Place the chicken into a large soup pot, and cover with water. Cook at medium heat and skim off the foam.
Add salt & pepper and continue cooking for about 25 minutes.
When chicken is fully cooked, place into a deep medium baking dish and set aside.
Retain chicken broth heated.
Turn oven to 375 degrees F (or 190 degrees C)
In a large non stick pan, add water and bring to a boil. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 4 minutes.
Drain onion and discard water.
Return pan to heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.
Add drained onion and cook for about 3 minutes, over medium-high heat.
Into the onion mixture, add the rice, the parsley, the dried oregano, only 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil.
Stuff the chicken with the remaining feta cheese and add the onion/rice mixture into the baking dish around the chicken.
Add 7 cups of chicken broth (add water if not enough broth).
Add 2 tablespoons butter over the rice.
Cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until rice is cooked and chicken has a golden skin.
Remove from oven and let rest for about 20 minutes before serving.
The true name of this recipe is Rithanadema (from the Greek words “ornitha” meaning chicken and “edesma” meaning savory meal). The origin of this dish is from Ipiros, Greece and it is a traditional dish of the area and not widely known in other parts of Greece.