Friday, April 10, 2009

Chicken with Okra (Kotopoulo me Bamies)

Fanni, my husband’s cousin living in Greece, was the first person to introduce me to this gorgeous Greek dish; okra in olive oil / tomato sauce (“bamies laderes”). “This is one of my favorites,” she said and served us this delicious food. It had a little bit of vinegar taste, which went very well with the okra and tomato sauce. Since then the dish became one of my favorites, too. Of course, I knew okra and ate them many times when I was a kid in Japan. But this vegetable had never fascinated me until the time we visited Greece. Today’s recipe includes chicken along with okra. If you are vegetarian, just ignore adding chicken. Remarkably, okra comes with lots of health benefits. It is rich in dietary fiber, which helps reduce high cholesterol. Moreover, it contains vitamins A, B1, B2, C, various minerals, calcium and potassium, which helps to beat the summer heat. Also for women who expect to be pregnant, it is a good source of folic acid. Thanks to Louisiana, where Cajun people frequently use okra in many kinds of dishes, I am able to find this vegetable easily almost anytime and at any market. Okra is a summer vegetable. It will be in season, soon. Please try when you find this vegetable in your local market!
40 – 50 pieces of okra
¼ cup vinegar
4 legs of chicken
1 chopped onion
3 cups chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups red wine (or water)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf

1. Wash the okra and cut off the stems. Place them along with the vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl and fill it up with water. Leave it for 10 – 15 minutes.
2. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper.
3. Heat the olive oil and add the garlic in a large pot and fry the onion until it becomes transparent.
4. Add the chicken legs and fry them till they become brown. Add the tomatoes and okra and fry them for 2-3 minutes.
4. Add the wine, tomato paste and bay leaf and stir. Bring to boil on high heat.
5. Reduce the heat to low after it started boiling. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Cover the pot and simmer for 40-50 minutes. Serve hot with bread or rice!


  1. Many thanks for the recipe, it worked very well, I'll be back to try some of the others
    Ray (U.K.)

  2. Dear Ray,

    Thank you very much for your comment!
    I am very happy that you liked this dish!
    Hope you try the others and like them as well :)