Or Chicken as the Farmer’s Wife Would Make – or – Polla al la Contadina
I love Mario Batali. Yes, he wears Crocs and high socks and talks so quickly it’s hard to understand him, but his use of simple ingredients and fresh flavors to make the most amazing meals is truly a talent. Plus he went to Rutgers (just like Stephanie!) and used to work at Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick. Best yet is that he didn’t forget about his roots! Oh, and he sports a red beard. Continue reading
If you’re making meat for Shabbat lunch and want an easy and light dish, look no further than this mustard chicken salad. Yeah, I know, people will probably go crazier over the chulent you made, but this dish is simple, refreshing, and did I mention simple? You can serve it on top of a bed of romaine, like I did, or arugula, like Ina did. Or you can shred the chicken and cut the veggies a bit smaller and serve this in sandwiches, my favorite way to eat chicken salad. No matter how you do it, it’s a great Shabbat lunch. Continue reading
AKA Jeffrey’s Roast Chicken.
Apparently we’ve been on a chicken kick lately! But all of these recipes serve different purposes, and really, you can never have enough chicken recipes! Here’s our latest obsession from our favorite Ina Garten:
There aren’t many recipes that are this easy and yield so much flavor like this roast chicken. Ina definitely knows how to take simple ingredients and add that wow factor! This chicken was moist and juicy, with just the right amount of aromatics to make bring the flavor of this chicken to the next level. Next time you’re having company, impress them with this roasted chicken. You won’t be sorry. Continue reading
I’ve never had harissa before, but when I saw Anne Burrell make it, I decided I wanted to try it. I’ve heard about it on food shows and seen it on menus, but never really knew what was in it. So when I saw her toast the spices and grind them, I realized that I could make it very easily! I already have all those spices in my pantry, and knew that the combination would make for a very spicy and flavorful chicken. After making the harissa, marinating my chicken in it overnight, and baking, I knew I had to make this meal a menu staple. I also thought it would be a great idea to share my homemade harissa with Stephanie. I delivered my leftover harissa to her apartment and shared the chicken cooking instructions with her. The photos of the cooked chicken are from Stephanie’s kitchen. The ones of the harissa-making are mine. Continue reading
Honey and mustard are a classic combination, and while I don’t like the taste of either of them plain, they are both good at making other things tastes better! I am happy to dip my apples in sugar rather than honey on Rosh Hashana, and I never put mustard on my pastrami sandwich! But honey in tea? mustard in salad dressing? Yes, please!
For some reason I was really craving Chinese food. So I found this recipe, printed it out and hung it up on my fridge. I went to Trader Joe’s and I bought a bag of cashews. I found kosher hoisin sauce. I defrosted some chicken cutlets that had been hanging out in my freezer. And now dinner for the next night was planned and prepared, so I went out for dinner with some friends. When I came home, I discovered that David cooked the chicken for dinner tomorrow! And we didn’t have any more cutlets, but we had plenty of chicken! So I didn’t want to shop for more chicken. So I gave up, the rest of the ingredients all sat unused and unloved in the kitchen and the recipe stuck to my fridge. Until one day I decided to buy chicken cutlets again and make cashew chicken for dinner!
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. Make this chicken! It comes together really quickly, it’s healthy (add more veggies when cooking to make it even healthier!) and the leftovers make a great lunch.
Next time I have a craving for something new, I think I’ll try sweet and sour chicken.
Cashew Chicken slightly adapted from Thyme for Wine
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 ancho peppers, cut into 1” pieces
- 5 leeks, cut into 1” pieces (I only had leeks, so I used those instead of scallions, which would make more sense)
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup toasted cashews (4 oz)
- Toss the chicken in the cornstarch in a medium bowl until coated. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Cook half the chicken, tossing for about 3 minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate.
- Add remaining oil and chicken to the skillet, along with the garlic, green pepper, and leeks. Cook, tossing for another 3 minutes until chicken browns.
- Return first batch of chicken to the pan. Add vinegar; cook for about 3o seconds until evaporated. Add hoisin sauce water; cook another minute tossing until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove from heat and stir cashews.
- Serve immediately over rice.
Chicken and spaghetti was always a Friday night staple in our home. Though Poopa Dweck’s book states that it’s a Syrian custom to not eat this dish for Shabbat dinner because it’s a sign of bad luck, my family’s been eating it for years, and I don’t think we’re any less lucky than other people out there. So If you’re superstitious, make it on a weeknight. It’s a good meal with just a small side salad or vegetable. If you’re not superstitious, or just want to make a main course that consists of a carb and a protein (does the tomato sauce count as a vegetable?), then make this for Shabbat dinner. Your guests and family will fight over the crispy burnt edges.
When my mother makes this, she always leaves the chicken pieces whole. This way, it’s easier to eat just the spaghetti, which I often like to do (especially when there’s chili on the table – chicken and spaghetti chopped with some chili is awesome). I sometimes shred the chicken into the spaghetti, so that every bite has a little bit of chicken and a little bit of spaghetti. I find that the chicken also stays more moist this way and soaks up the flavor of the sauce more. Try it both ways and let me know which you prefer. Remember if you’re shredding to be careful to remove all the bones and stuff. No one wants a mouthful of spaghetti and chicken bones!
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 chicken, cut into eighths (bone in, skin on)
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Place chicken on baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes, until cooked. Then let cool and shred, cut, or leave whole. Save the chickeny oil and juice!
3. While chicken is roasting, boil spaghetti in very salty water for one minute less than stated on the package.
4. Drain the spaghetti.
5. Place spaghetti in roasting pan and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, spices, salt, and some pepper. Mix well.
— Now you have what we like to call “And Spaghetti” which is the BEST Friday afternoon snack ever.
6. Add the chicken (pieces, shreds, whatever you decided) and the chicken juice and mix well.
7. Cover and roast in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, until the edges are crusty and the middle is soft.
I’m often inspired by the food I see at the market or in my kitchen, and that’s how I decide what to cook. This recipe is different; I was inspired by my wok. I saw it hiding in its cabinet one morning, decided I wanted to use it, and defrosted some chicken in preparation.
It doesn’t have to take long to produce a healthful and appetizing meal. This meal consists of protein and vegetables thrown into a wok and cooked with soy sauce. If you don’t have a wok, a regular large saucepan will do the trick, too.