the appetizer:

Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes by Tessa Kiros, includes international recipes like Prego Rolls; Herrings Marinated in Vinegar with Dill, and Allspice; and Kolokassi.

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Serves 4


This is a Cypriot dish that we had often during my childhood. It is the taro that gives kolokassi its special flavor, although you could probably make it with another root vegetable such as celeriac or even sweet potatoes. This is often made with chunks of pork instead of the chicken—you could use either.

Peel the taro. Don't rinse it, but rub it clean with a damp cloth or paper towels. Cut the taro into chunks by just chipping into it with a sharp knife and then breaking off pieces of about 1 inch. Leave the taro pieces in a bowl with a little splash of lemon juice over them and a sprinkling of salt.

Heat the oil in a wide casserole dish and fry the chicken on both sides until it is lightly golden. Remove the chicken and add the onions to the dish, stirring constantly. When they look like they could start sticking, add the butter and stir for a few minutes more. Return the chicken to the dish, season with salt and pepper, and add the celery leaves and taro.

Dissolve the tomato paste in about 3-1/2 cups of hot water and add to the casserole. When it comes back to a boil, cover, decrease the heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, without stirring the chicken around too much but checking that it doesn't stick. Halfway through this time, add the lemon juice and taste for seasoning.

The chicken and taro should be very tender, but not falling apart, with a good quantity of pan juice. Let it stand for a bit before serving, so that it's not too hot.


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This page created May 2009