cretan rice

How to make Cretan rice known as “Gamopilafo”

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4-6 servings

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cooking Time

2 Hours



The history of the Cretan rice begins in western Crete, but it has become a tradition of every home throughout the island since it is often cooked. Made from rice, chicken broth and stakovoutyro (the famous sun-kissed butter from Chania). The Cretan rice as a wedding dish symbolises fertility and wishes for plenty of “goods” to the newlywed couple.


  • Whole chicken – Free range.

  • 2 chicken stock cubes for extra flavour (optional).

  • 6-8 Lemons.

  • Salt & pepper.

  • Olive oil.

  • Yogurt (Optional).


  • Prepare whole chicken by washing it under running water tap.
  • Fill a stockpot with water and add the chicken to the stockpot.
  • Add salt, a few drops of olive oil finally add 2 chicken stock cubes.
    Stir and cook on low heat for 1 hour.
  • Turn chicken over and cover the stockpot.
  • While its on low heat, prepare to squeeze the lemon juice out of the lemons.
  • Remove the chicken out of the stockpot place it on the oven tray.
    Add olive oil, salt, pepper and finally add a little bit of that lemon juice we prepared earlier.
  • Add more salt and put it in the oven for 1 hour @180 Celsius.
    Strain the stock from the pot.
  • Now we are ready to add our rice. The ratio is 3 cups of stock for 1 cup of rice.
  • Wash the rice before we add it in the stockpot.
  • Remove chicken from the oven and cut it into pieces.
  • Stir rice and at this point we add the rest of the lemon juice.
  • Turn off the stove and cover the stockpot with a towel, followed by the lid pot. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve the rice and the chicken on a plate. Optionally add yogurt.
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