Tonight at sundown begins Yom Kippur. For 25 hours we will fast. [Ed. note: A WHOLE DAY AND AN HOUR DEATH WHERE IS THY STING?] This “Day of Atonement” (English translation) isn't Hanukkah, but it's the holiest day of the year, and a day to begin the new year with a fresh start.
When I was young, my mamala used to make her famous roast chicken before the fast and another one to break fast. We lived in a small town about 200 miles (round trip) from the nearest synagogue in Portland, Oregon. By the time services were over, and it was past sundown, we made it home around 8:00pm and started roasting a chicken we didn't actually eat until 10:00pm. It was a long day and we were all pretty hangry [Ed. note: A technical term.] by that point!
Although hardly traditional Jewish fare, this Mexican-marinated roast chicken is the perfect way to start the fast and it will be an easy and equally delicious meal to break fast. Best of all, I prepared everything ahead of time, so I didn't have to start the process after work.
A word about the marinade: you're probably thinking mayonnaise is an odd choice, but it's not. It works. The Best of Fine Cooking explains, "Mayonnaise is the perfect base for marinade as it takes the place of oil and keeps the marinade ingredients suspended. The lime juice cuts through the richness of the smoky chipotle and the beer adds depth of flavor."
The spice level is relatively mild, for my taste. If you like a bit more kick, like the BF and I do, add an additional ¼ - ⅓ cup of purée to the mayo.
Serve this chicken with anything! We made burrito bowls, but it's perfect served in a tortilla as a burrito or taco. Our side dishes included saffron rice, black beans, pickled red onions, avocados and a delectable cilantro vinaigrette that was so good, it will have its own blog entry very soon.
To all of my tribe, wishing you a meaningful Yom Kippur and an easy fast.
Adapted from: The Best of Fine Cooking, Mexican, 2018
Number of servings: 4-6
NOTE: You can make the marinade ahead of time. Tightly covered, the marinade (with mayo) will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Labor Day weekend. The end of summer. [Ed. note: Fact check = BOO] Baseball pennant races and the beginning of football season. [Ed. note: Fact check = YAY] During my childhood it was family gatherings, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon [Ed. note: Fact check = LADY], and literally the next day, the beginning of school. [Ed. note: Fact check = BOO REDEUX] A time many of you fire up the grill, and yet maybe some of you are looking for a healthy alternative.
It's not that I actively solicit requests (although to be clear, please never be afraid to reach out!), but for years this healthy chicken parmesan has been a hit with clients, friends, and family, and they all demand the recipe. The common comment usually revolves around how deceptively healthy this is. Sporting unbreaded chicken and loaded with vegetables, even the BF has said it feels like a pasta-inspired "cheat" that…really isn't. [Ed. note: Fact check = TRUE]
The dish is tasty any time of year. In summer, you can't beat a vegetable medley of zucchini, yellow zucchini, carrots and parsnips. In winter, instead of zucchini I substitute rutabaga, kohlrabi, butternut squash or celery root. Bonus: it's low carb, gluten free, grain free, and ready in under an hour. Perfect for weeknights, and if you are tending a summer garden as we approach Labor Day, this is a wonderful way to utilize those vegetables.
If you own one, you can use a Spiralizer, but I actually found it much easier to simply use a hand-held julienne peeler (see photo below). Last September, I used the same inexpensive tool to whip up the Vegetable Noodle Nest with Soft Boiled Egg. www.moveablefeast.me/blog/vegetable-noodle-nest-with-soft-boiled-egg
Of note, almost all Spiralized or juilienned vegetables (especially root varieties) hold well for several days in the fridge, with the exception of zucchini, which tends to get a little limp and watery after a day. After Spiralizing the veggies, wrap them in a paper towel and place in a Ziplock bag. Get all the air out of the bag, and presto, you're done. For myself and the BF, the meal prep occurs at the beginning of the week, and all I have to do is sauté the veggies when dinner time comes around. To quote the immortal words of my spirit animal Ina Garten, "How easy is that?"
Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend, and repeating: if you see anything on the other sections of my web site (i.e., photos) that you'd like to see a recipe blog post for, let me know in the comments below or reach out on any of the social media platforms listed. [Ed. note: We also accept e-mail, snail mail, carrier pigeon, smoke signals, drums, etc.]
Inspired by: Giada De Laurentiis, FoodNetwork.com
Number of servings: 4
Vegetables (While the chicken is in the oven...)
Sometimes my BF and I like a little heat. Not scorch-your-tongue-off heat, but enough to have a little pop. Not sure why Halloween brings cravings for spicy food, perhaps I'm equating spicy-heat with devils and vampires.
This chicken is a one-pan meal with a side dish to boot, very simple to make, and packed with flavor. (Did you know you can stuff practically anything under the chicken skin for extra flavor? I've stuffed a mixture of spinach, mushroom, and Manchego cheese under the skin as well as several kinds of compound butters–truffle, garlic, lemon, herb–and it's out of this world.)
I found this jalapeño chicken recipe in the delightful cookbook Casa Marcela, by Marcela Valladolid. As she says, "For this one, you'd think there's so much heat from the raw jalapeño, but during the roasting it mellows out ... It also serves as a barrier between the flesh of the chicken and the direct heat in the oven, so the breast stays nice and moist."
I varied the peppers a bit because many jalapeños I find in local groceries are so mild they taste like green bell peppers. You can stick with just jalapeño (like Valladolid's recipe), or spice it up and use a mixture of serrano, fresno, jalapeño and/or even poblano. It's spicy, but not too spicy.
The chicken is roasted with baby potatoes so you have a side dish ready when the chicken is. In my house, we also serve this with black beans and/or rice for a South-of-the-Border-style meal. You can even shred the chicken for tostadas, enchiladas, or tortilla soup.
NOTE: Use latex gloves when handling chilies!
Adapted from: Casa Marcela, by Marcela Valladolid
Number of servings: makes 1 roast chicken
Top to bottom: jalapeño, fresno (red) and serrano peppers
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.