My aunt laughed at me when I asked her how to make this recipe for the first time. The reason being is that it really is as simple as it sounds. You boil chicken. Then you add pasta and cook it in the broth with a little salt. Then you serve it and squeeze A LOT of fresh lemon over it and sprinkle it with a Cypriot cheese called “anari”, a type of cheese that is a by-product of when you make halloumi. If I had to describe “anari” I would say it is like ricotta when just made. The “anari” used here has been dried and salty. This is the pinnacle of comfort food in Cyprus. It’s such a mid-week comfort winter staple. I guarantee that most Cypriot families make this dish at least once every week for their families. It’s easy and it has taste and is quite hearty. Perfect for January. I should probably be posting things like salads and such in an attempt to shed all of those pounds I put on because I ate so many “kourabiedes” and Christmas Cake over the holidays, but I’m more a “I promise that I will walk the dog more type of girl”. My preference when making this recipe is to add A LOT of lemon. I just find that it adds a lot of flavour to the chicken.
And you can use any type of pasta that you want, today I used Mitsides traditional Cypriot pasta which is quite heavy in taste and has a particular flavour in and of itself. (For those interested in learning more about this Cypriot flour and pasta maker, you may enjoy reading a little bit about Mitsides history here. I love the fact that this company started out as a small company in Cyprus and over the years is beginning to make strides to showcase its products on an international market.) This dish is a life saver on those busy days when you have little time to prepare something, but don’t just want plain ‘ol pasta. While I have never been a fan of just boiled chicken on its on, the addition of boiled pieces of chicken in the pasta and having cooked the pasta in the chicken broth is quite soothing and tasty. Enjoy.
2 chicken thighs
Mitsides Traditional Cyprus Macaroni (enough for two people)
grated “anari” cheese (if you don’t have “anari” cheese it will be hard to replicate this! I would probably replace it with hard halloumi if I had to, but it is really the “anari” that gives this dish its taste … in my opinion!)
1. Boil about 4 to 6 cups of water on the stove (basically just over enough to cover the two chicken thighs) and add the two chicken thighs. Let the chicken thighs boil and cook until well done. I think I left mine for about 30 minutes, but you will need to cut open the chicken to check it has been properly cooked.
2. Once the chicken has cooked, remove it and place it in a bowl to let cool. Add the pasta to the chicken broth and salt to taste. Cook until the pasta is ready. Meanwhile, chop the cooked chicken into slices which you will serve with the pasta.
3. Serve the pasta with chicken slices (toss the chicken in with the hot pasta to ensure that the chicken is warm when it is eaten). Squeeze a quarter or half a lemon on each serving (depending on how lemon-y you want it) and add grated “anari” cheese to taste. I like A LOT of “anari”.