One-Pot Greek Chicken and Peas: Kotopoulo me Araka

Greek chicken with peas

I love one-pot meals, and Greek cuisine has plenty of them. All the popular vegetable casseroles are basically one pot meals. Pick a vegetable, add onions, tomato sauce and olive oil and you are done. Occasionally there is a bit of meat to be added, mostly chicken, like this combo: chicken and peas.

Greek One-Pot Recipes

The abundance of Greek one-pot meals can be traced back to the fact that people simply did not have ovens in their homes, so they had to use the stove-top for most of their cooking needs. Even when they had ovens, they rarely used them. For as long as I remember, both my grandmothers hardly used the ovens in their home. My one grandmother who lived at the village, would only use the oven if she was baking bread, since the oven was on, she would plan to add a dish that needed roasting, but otherwise she would not use it unless she was baking. My other grandmother who lived in a large town, had an oven installed in her home in the 60’s, but she would send any meal that needed to be roasted to the local bakery where they would cook it for you in their large ovens. This was quite common in those days- when lunch time came around everybody would go by the bakery to pick up their pan with the family meal.

Meat as a Side Dish

Generally, meat in the Greek diet is not the main focus of the meal. With the exception of Easter and some other holidays where the lamb or pig is the epicenter, in traditional everyday cooking meat is consumed sparingly and when it is, it plays the role of the side dish.

We already know that for Greeks meat was a luxury reserved for special occasions and weekends. Chicken was more common, but again it had to be “spread out” with plenty of vegetables to feed a whole family, hence the combos we see. This type of dish that came out of a need, is essential to the healthiness of the Mediterranean diet, we basically see a plate that is 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 meat or some other protein.

When cooking this, it is important that you cook the chicken and peas together rather than separately, the peas absorb all the flavors of the chicken. Now, in case you avoid meat altogether just head over to the traditional vegan version of Greek peas here.

For this recipe, I’ll often use frozen peas which I always keep on hand and that way I can make it any time of the year. Also, as this is considered a lathero dish, it tastes better lukewarm or at room temperature, not hot.

One-Pot Greek Chicken and Peas: Kotopoulo me Araka

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Servings: 2 -3
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  • Heat the olive oil at moderate heat in large pot.
  • Sauté the onions for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the drumsticks and brown the chicken turning for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the wine and stir and scrape any pieces stuck to the pot.
  • Add the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes, at this point you will add the peas.
  • Add the peas, dill and the bay leaf and continue simmering for another 15 minutes.
  • The dish is ready when there is no water left in the pan just the sauce.
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One-Pot Greek Chicken and peas

Photo by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply Betty H December 26, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if I can substitute the tomatoes and paste for something else? I have gi issues and was told not to consume tomatoes. Although I love tomatoes I have to follow the doctor orders.

  • Reply Michael March 7, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    tasty and delicious, will pair well with a greek wine like a retsina5 stars

  • Reply Mary Wood January 27, 2022 at 6:07 am

    Delicious and very filling. Thanks Elena.5 stars

  • Reply Candace Koney March 31, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    This recipe is very good without white wine. In fact I never add it, nor do I add a bay leaf. I have added in buckwheat which my family enjoys.

  • Reply Wendy September 3, 2020 at 7:57 am

    Can the white wine be left out? I don’t drink wine and I don’t feel like buying a bottle just to try this recipe, lol.

  • Reply Jose January 21, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Thank you for posting this recipe!! I have been looking for a recipe for a dish called “Gamilla” which was introduced to me from a Moroccan living in Greece. Your recipe is the closest recipe I have seen to his dish posted online. I’m not sure if you have heard of Gamilla, I can’t find any information about it online, but this dish looks exactly like the one in your photo. I believe it is the same exact cooking method but seasoned with Indian/Moroccan spices I think with curry and possibly tumeric… Maybe a few more spices. Long story short I am going to use your recipe as a base for the dish I have been searching how to make AFTER I make your dish at home first 🙂

    • Reply Ryan May 30, 2020 at 3:57 am

      Hi, I haven’t tried this recipe but plan to tomorrow. This reply is for Jose. The name of the dish you are looking for only has one “L” so I think that is why you had a hard time finding it. I know this reply is a few months late and hopefully you have found what you are looking for by now, but just thought I would help.

  • Reply BBQ PIT May 7, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Dieses Rezept sieht so lecker aus. Ich werde dieses Rezept auf jeden Fall ausprobieren

  • Reply Keli March 25, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    Hi! What would you recommend serving with this to fill it out a little more? I can see my husband and kids wanting more with it. Would you recommend rice or another vegetable? I’d prefer another vegetable over rice, but also maybe add some bread to dip? Thanks!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN March 31, 2019 at 9:03 am

      Hi Keli. This is served with a bit of feta cheese and bread. A d I would add a salad on the side as well.

    • Reply Ian September 8, 2021 at 11:21 pm

      I’ve served this over potatoes before, which took it to a new level. Much heartier! Peeled and boiled russets are great, but I could see red potatoes pairing well with this also. I recommend coarsely dicing them, as I find the larger chunks to give this dish a little more to bite into. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Cynthia Anderson December 27, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Would this work with chicken tenders?

  • Reply October 6, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    One pot meals are the best. So much less clean up- sometimes it seems like cleaning up takes way longer than cooking and eating! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Steve October 3, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Eating this right now – so good. I have chicken thighs however. I could eat this everyday.

  • Reply Anna September 19, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Hello. What would you recommend as a good substitute for the peas in this recipe? Unfortunately my daughter has multiple food allergies, including lentils and peas.
    Thank you!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 20, 2017 at 5:06 am

      Hi Anna, Other typical combinations with chicken are with green beans or okra instead of peas. You use the same method, but instead of adding dill you can add parsley.

      • Reply Anna September 28, 2017 at 9:39 pm

        Perfect! Thank you.

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