The history of the Cretan rice begins in western Crete, but it has become a tradition of every home throughout the island, since it is often cooked. Made from rice, chicken broth and stakovoutyro (the famous sun-kissed butter from Chania). The Cretan rice as wedding dish symbolises fertility and wishes for plenty of “goods” to the newlywed couple.
INGREDIENTS for cretan rice
- Whole chicken – Free range.
- 2 chicken stock cubes for extra flavour (optional).
- 6-8 Lemons.
- Salt & pepper.
- Olive oil.
- Yogurt (Optional).
Directions for cretan rice
- Prepare whole chicken by washing it under running water tap.
- Fill a stockpot with water and add the chicken to the stockpot.
- Add salt, a few drops of olive oil finally add 2 chicken stock cubes.
Stir and cook on low heat for 1 hour.
- Turn chicken over and cover the stockpot.
- While its on low heat, prepare to squeeze the lemon juice out of the lemons.
- Remove the chicken out of the stockpot place it on the oven tray.
Add olive oil, salt, pepper and finally add a little bit of that lemon juice we prepared earlier.
- Add more salt and put it in the oven for 1 hour @180 Celsius.
Strain the stock from the pot.
- Now we are ready to add our rice. The ratio is 3 cups of stock for 1 cup of rice.
- Wash the rice before we add it in the stockpot.
- Remove chicken from the oven and cut it into pieces.
- Stir rice and at this point we add the rest of the lemon juice.
- Turn off the stove and cover the stockpot with a towel, followed by the lid pot. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve the rice and the chicken on a plate. Optionally add yogurt.