What’s For Dinner? Chicken Marrakesh

Chicken Marrakesh, photo courtesy of Hadassah Magazine.
Drugstore Dinner!

I didn’t intend to grocery shop at Walgreen’s, but when strategically shopping for paper goods (arrival based on delivery truck intel), I spotted dried apricots and figs and this dish came to mind. Guest have given me rave reviews of Chicken Marrakesh, a recipe from  The Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook, but I was serving my family and had only had small, skinless, boneless cutlets to work with. This entree’s “delectable, tangy sweetness” is a winner! The original recipe with modifications due to taste and availability is below.

Happy cooking, hon!

Chicken Marrakesh

Modifications in Brackets
Ingredients:
  • 4 whole chickens (2 1/2 pounds ea), each cut into eighths [8 skinless, boneless cutlets]
  • 12 large cloves garlic, finely minced [4 large garlic cloves]
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme [1 Tablespoon thyme]
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin [1 teaspoon cumin]
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger [3/4 teaspoon ginger]
  • [not in original recipe but added 1/2 teaspoon turmeric]
  • 1 teaspoon salt [1/2 teaspoon salt]
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar [1/3 cup red wine vinegar]
  • 1 cup best quality olive oil [1/3 cup olive oil]
  • 8 teaspoons green peppercorns, soaked in water and drained [didn’t use, but modification would be 2 teaspoons peppercorns]
  • 2 cups whole pitted black olives [didn’t use, but modification would be 3/4 cup olives]
  • 3 cups dried apricots [6 oz dried apricots]
  • 2 cups dried small figs [4 oz Mission figs]
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar [1/4 cup brown sugar]
  • 1 cup good red wine [didn’t have, so substituted 1/8 cup red wine vinegar]
  • 2 cups large pecan pieces [didn’t have, but modification would be 3/4 cup pecan pieces]
  • Grated zest of 4 lemons [didn’t have, but modification would be 1 lemon]
Directions:

1. The day before, combine the chicken, garlic, thyme, cumin, ginger, salt, wine vinegar, oil, peppercorns, olives, apricots, and figs in 2 large bowls, dividing the ingredients equally; marinate covered in the refrigerator overnight. Mix several times during the day. Remove the bowls from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. [I combined ingredients in the morning and cooked the dish that evening.]
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Arrange chicken in single layer in 2 large, heavy, shallow baking pans. Spoon marinade evenly over both pans. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, pecans, and lemon zest and pour the wine evenly between the pieces in both pans.
4. Cover the pans with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake, basting frequently with the pan juices, 50 minutes. [Cooking time will vary when using smaller amount than originally called for, cook until inside temperature of chicken is approx. 160 degrees F.]
5. Using a fork and slotted spoon, transfer the chicken, olives, dried fruit, and pecans to a large serving platter. Drizzle with a few large spoonfuls of the pan juices.

Serves about 8

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Nurture the Wow, Published Book Review

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“Putting Prayer Into Parenting,” my published review of Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg’s book Nurture the Wow, was published in the October/November 2016 issue of Hadassah Magazine. Click here to read the review and an interview with the author.

Woohoo to an insightful parenting book, and to the opportunity to write about it.

 

Red Wine Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Pearl Onions

Minestrone
Minestrone.

It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving and the winter holidays turn me into a cooking/rearranging/cleaning whirling dervish! I was looking for a new soup recipe when I came across this one in Hadassah Magazine. It accompanied an article about kosher food trucks, specifically The Cinnamon Snail which travels all over the Eastern seaboard. I like the The Cinnamon Snail’s tagline, “Food to Inspire Peace and Bliss.”

If you have a food processor, the chopping and dicing in this recipe will go quickly. The preparation is worth it because this minestrone is tasty.  Happy cooking, hon!

Red Wine Minestrone with Swiss Chard and Pearl Onions

Gather ingredients.
Gather ingredients.
Almost done.
Combine ingredients in a soup pot.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

16 small pearl onions, peeled

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups red wine

1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (juice included)

1 cup ditalini, elbow or small-shell pasta

1 cup drained, rinsed canned pinto beans

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon but I wanted to cut the spiciness. season to your spiciness-taste level)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (I used about a Tablespoon dried basil leaves)

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, chopped (I used about half the bunch)

Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add pearl onions and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 5 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and carrot and continue to sauté until vegetables soften slightly, 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, wine and tomatoes, bring to a boil, add pasta and boil until pasta is only partially cooked, 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans, red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, basil and Swiss chard and cook until pasta is al dente, 2-3 minutes. Season to taste.

Makes about 3 quarts.

Source: Street Vegan:  Recipes and Dispatches from the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck by Adam Sobel