chip shop

I hadn’t had a free weekend in a while due to some extra things in the schedule at work and this weekend I was thrilled (and relieved) to have the whole weekend off.  Saturday we kind of had a date sort of day where we didn’t have much of an agenda except that we had to be at a cooking class by 6pm.  A request had been made earlier in the week to go to the Lego store to do a bit of browsing and I remembered that I had wanted to try the Cookes of Dublin chip shop at downtown Disneyfor a while so we made an afternoon of it.  It is a quick service type of menu where you walk up to the counter and peruse the giant board of mostly deep fried Irish delights ranging from fish and chips (yes please) to deep fried candy bars and burgers.  I ordered the fish and chips and a diet coke (I mean, really…)  and Z ordered chicken tenders.  They had several sauces on tap so we opted for those instead of purchasing the garlic or curry mayo at 3.50. They had two that interested me were the tartar sauce and a nice creamy mustard. The price had the standard Disney tax and lunch for two was about $25 including soft drinks but the fish, tenders and chips were all freshly made and actually really tasty with crunchy light batter and hand cut thick fries.  We sat outside in the shade and watched the world go by before picking up our free sample at the Ghiradelli shop (chocolate filled with pumpkin creme) and entering the fray at the Lego store.

kota kokinisti – cinnamon chicken

sounds rather bizarre.  I had it at Cat Cora’s restaurant, Kouzzina a few months back and decided to scope it out on the internet and try it at home.  Not great for a weeknight when you are wiped out as it takes a solid hour plus to make.  It isn’t a difficult dish but you stew the chicken for quite a long while at a low heat. We served it on a bed of buttered orzo which, although I followed the directions on the box, were beyond al dente.   It isn’t really a pretty dish but it tasted really nice and comforting.

Kota Kokinisti
adapted from cat cora


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (we used large skin on chicken breasts – 2)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, plus 2 cloves, whole
  • 4 ounces dry white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 cup mizithra (it being Orlando and a weeknight, we used Parm)
  • Serving suggestion: Cooked rice or cooked orzo.


Heat oil in a large skillet on high heat. Sprinkle chicken with cinnamon, salt, and pepper, brown on all sides, and set aside. 

Turn the heat to medium-high, add the onions and minced garlic, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the wine to remove the particles from the bottom of pan and reduce until almost dry. Add water, tomato paste, and whole garlic cloves. Add chicken, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through. Add water as needed.

Served best over rice or orzo. Top with mizithra.(greek raw milk cheese. can sub mix of ricota salata and romano)

kouzzina and the magic kingdom

we had a birthday dinner reservation at Kouzzina by Cat Cora last night.  It is a Mediterranean and Greek home-cooking kitchen inspired restaurant by Cat Cora (think female Iron Chef America.) Kouzzina is Greek for kitchen and the dishes are inspired I suppose by what you might find in a home kitchen in Greece.
It is at the Boardwalk at Disney which is supposed to be reminiscent of the Jersey Shore.  Around 3pm we remembered that we had a couple of passes for Disney parks tucked away and decided that after dinner we would head over to the Magic Kingdom for the summer Nightastic events and a few rides.
We made our way to the endless parking lots at Disney and parked at the Magic Kingdom to help make our getaway after the fireworks.  To make it to Kouzzina and then back to the park took 4 monorail rides, 3 boat rides and 2 bus rides.  We actually laid eyes on Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom.  No lie.
What about dinner?  Well, I wasn’t really sure how I expected Greek inspired and maybe a little dumbed down for Disney food to be but I was pleasantly surprised.

We ordered Kasseri cheese as an appetizer which is a sheep’s milk cheese that is pan fried in olive oil and sprinkled with fresh oregano and capers and served alongside a deeply char-grilled lemon half that has been drizzled with olive oil and served with grilled oil oiled bread.  This is an perfect start to a meal with it’s salty creamy cheeseand tart lemon.  It really leaves you ready for more.

For supper I had the Kouzzina trio.  In reading the menu I was a little off taken by the idea of cinnamon stewed chicken and orzo but the ultra tender chicken was spiced delicately by savory cinnamon and tomatoes.  The Pastitsio is a sort of Greek lasagna with bucatini and cinnamon beef and bechamel and kind of addictive with Mizithra cheese on top.  It was rounded out by a garlicky lamb slider that was spicy and bright with tomatoes and cucumber.
Z had flank steak with herb saltsa (ground green herbs, lemon and garlic) and garlic pan roasted new potatoes over just slightly wilted whole leaf spinach.
We were too full for dessert which was  disappointing (Greek doughnuts with honey and baklava…) I am definitely going to recreate some of these recipes at home for their classic, bright, gorgeously warm deep flavors.
Magic Kingdom isn’t so bad on your birthday either except they give you a button and everyone is consistent about saying ‘happy birthday – you don’t look a day over 21’ which clearly means that you do.