Foti’s Karkaletso – Greek Chicken, Sauerkraut and Rice Recipe

Karkaletso originates from Argos Orestiko in the region of Kastoria in Greece; a region that borders the Balkans. The proximity of Kastoria to the Balkans is reflected in one of the key ingredients in this dish, sauerkraut! The sauerkraut, which adds a moreish texture and zing to this dish, combines beautifully with juicy chicken thighs and rice to offer a delicious and potently nutritious meal!

Foti from @zachloe_lifestyle shares this special recipe with us. It was one of his favourite dishes growing up, and one that he has reconnected with only recently, with Kali Orexi as the catalyst. Watch this recipe and be inspired to make it now!


Foti’s Karkaletso

A wholesome and delicious dish of chicken, sauerkraut and rice, enhanced with smoked paprika. This recipe originates from Argos Orestiko in Kastoria, Greece and is shared by our guest Foti Vassiliadis.


For the Karkaletso you will need…

  • 100 g salted butter
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 8 chicken chops
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1.4 kg sauerkraut (partially drained)
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups medium grain rice
  • Salt to taste

Preparing the Karkaletso

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot on medium-high heat
  2. Add the onions and cook till translucent
  3. Add the chicken pieces. Lightly brown them on both sides
  4. Add the paprika, mix and cook through a little
  5. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil; then reduce and simmer for half an hour
  6. Add the sauerkraut. Raise the heat to bubbling and then reduce to a simmer for a further 10-15 minutes
  7. Add the rice. Raise the heat to bubbling and then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until the rice is cooked through
  8. Test for salt and season to taste

Serving the Karkaletso

  1. Serve the karkaletso warm with a few good turns of cracked pepper, a drizzle of EVOO and a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt. For some extra zing, you can squeeze some lemon juice on it too!
  2. 6-8 servings
  • Chicken chops are also known as ‘chicken thighs with bones’
  • The sauerkraut will have salt in it, so depending on your seasoning preference, you may or may not want to add additional salt
  • If the fluids are completely reduced and the rice hasn’t cooked through yet, add ½ cup of boiled water at a time and continue to simmer the dish till the rice has cooked. You may need to adjust your salt seasoning with the addition of extra water
  • Depending on how dry or brothy you would like the dish to be, you can adjust the rice quantity to achieve your preference. Use 1 cup of rice if you prefer a brothy dish or 1 ½ cups of rice if you prefer a ‘drier’ dish
  • You can easily switch out the sauerkraut for finely sliced fresh cabbage, if you want a less acidic finish to this dish
  • Recipe can be halved easily too
Main Course
chicken, greekrecipe, sauerkraut, smoked paprika, winterdish

Recipe video

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