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In the winter there is something so comforting about a classic Shabbat roasted chicken. Often though, the meal can feel heavy with chicken at the center of heavy starch and vegetable sides. This Rice Noodle Bowl takes either freshly roasted chicken breasts, or some of your leftover roasted chicken and creates a nice, light, customizable meal in a bowl. It’s comfort food with out the gooey heavy cheesiness of, say, mac ‘n’ cheese or chili.
The long noodles also make this a perfect dish to cook for couples and families celebrating Chinese New Year, which just happens to fall on Shabbat this year (January 28 to be exact). Just as we eat honey and apples for a sweet Jewish new year, Chinese tradition is to eat long noodles. It is one of the “lucky foods” meant toÂ represent a long life.
Rice Noodle Bowls with Vegetables and Chicken
1.Â If you are using a rotisserie chicken, you will just slice 4 slices of the chicken breast and set it aside on a plate. If you are roasting a chicken breast, use this method from Ina Garten; it is simple and tasty.
2.Â Pour vegetable oil into a small saucepan and heat it over low. While the oil heats, slice the shallots as thinly as possible. Have a fork or slotted spoon on hand and put a layer of paper towels on a small plate.Turn the oil up to medium heat. Once the oil ripples, you should be ableÂ toÂ toss in a piece of shallot and see if itÂ sizzles instantly. Then it is hot enough. If it burns, take the oil off the heat to cool and remove the burnt shallot. Cook the shallots in the hot oil for 10-20 minutes until crispy. Remove the shallots with a fork or slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels. Set the oil aside to cool.
3.Â Wash and slice the scallions using both the white and green parts of the scallion about halfway up the greens. Peel the carrot and slice it into thin matchsticks.
4.Â Prepare the rice noodles as directed by the package. Typically, the noodles soak in boiling water for about 10 minutes and then rinse in cold water.
5. Â Pour the shallot oil into a jar. The leftover oil is great for salad dressings and seasoning. You will not use the entire 1/4 cup.
6. Â If you are just using a few mushrooms you can sautĂ© them in the oil left behind in the pan. If you are using a lot of mushrooms, use a larger sautĂ© pan and pour in a teaspoon of the shallot oil. You do not want to crowd the mushrooms or they will steam instead of sautĂ©. Clean and slice the mushrooms if they are not pre-sliced. Smaller mushrooms can be left whole.
7. Â In a small saucepan, cover the egg with cold water. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer for 3 minutes. While the egg is simmering prepare a bowl with ice water. After 3 minutes, dunk the egg in the ice water and let it cool.Â Once cool, carefully peel the egg.
8. Â Empty the water out of the egg saucepan and add in your stock or water and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil and then let simmer. Wash and slice the baby bok choy into halves or quarters depending on how big they are.
9. Â Now you can assemble your rice noodle bowls. On a plate or individual bowls you will put your slices of scallion, crispy shallots, carrots and sautĂ©ed mushrooms. Toss the rinsed rice noodles in the leftover oil from the pan that you used to sautĂ©e the mushrooms. Just before serving, cook the bok choy in the chicken stock for a few minutes and then heat up the slices of chicken in the chicken stock as well. This will only take a few minutes each.
9. Â Divide the noodles into two bowls. Slice the egg and put half in each bowl. Allow people to add the toppings they like to the dish and then drizzle with a little additional shallot oil. Stir it all together and enjoy.
Gang, summer is coming to an end! We need to embrace all of its delights as much as we can, including swimming and eating as much ice cream as possible, because thatâ€™s what summerâ€™s about, right? I think we should also embrace the later Shabbat start times, and one of my favorite ways to do this is by hosting a â€śSha-barbecueâ€ť! The first time I enjoyed a Sha-barbecue was almost 10 years ago when I was living in Chicago. I wasÂ invited over to my friend Taronâ€™s place for Shabbat dinner. When I asked him what I could bring, he casually said, â€śWell, itâ€™s a Sha-barbecue, so maybe some guacamole and chips?â€ťÂ I loved how casually he said Sha-barbecue, like it was a thing everyone knew about the world over. But never in my whole Jewish life had I heard of or attended a Sha-barbecue! Ever since that fateful night, I have fully embraced the Sha-barbecue. With Shabbat not starting until almost 8 in the summer, Iâ€™ve found that as a religiously observant Jew itâ€™s easy to have friends over and enjoy some adult beverages while barbecuing up the main course and then sitting down to a lovely Sha-barbecue meal. You know, like our forefathers and mothers used to do!
Sha-barbecue Cilantro, Lime and Yogurt Chicken Wings
1.Â Wash and dry the chicken wings, making sure they are free of any feathers. Next, separate drumettes from wingettes by slicing a sharp knife through the joints.
2.Â Place the chicken wings in a mediumÂ bowl. Add the cumin, sweetÂ paprika, garlic powder,Â kosher salt and pepper. Toss to coat the wings.
3.Â In a separate, larger bowl, addÂ all the ingredients for the marinade. Stir to combine, tasting for adjustments in seasoning.
4.Â Once marinade is complete, place the prepared chicken wings into the marinadeÂ bowl, stirring to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 6Â hours, making sure not to over-marinate, as theÂ recipe includes lime juice, which can break down the meat (and not in a good way).
5.Â Preheat oven to 400 degrees. LineÂ two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
6.Â Using tongs, gently place the wings on the prepared baking sheets, making sure to spread them evenly so they arenâ€™t overlapping. Donâ€™t toss out the remaining marinade, as you will be basting while it bakes.
7.Â Bake wings for roughly 20 minutes. After the initial 20 minutes, baste each wing with remaining marinade. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.
8.Â Sprinkle cooked wings with Maldon sea salt and a squeeze of lime just before serving.
Chicken is a mainstay in most Jewish homes. We love our chicken stock (homemade or store-bought and doctored will do) for matzah ball soup. Youâ€™ll find chopped chicken livers at the holiday table because every family has those who love it among the haters.Â For Shabbat, a nice roasted chicken kicks off the weekend and the Sabbath.Â But when you always cook with the same ingredient it is easy to get in a rut.Â The good news is that it isnâ€™t that hard to get out of it!Â Just add a little spice. This summer,Â go Indian with this Indian spiced grilled chicken served with a cilantro mint sauce. For interfaith families with Indian backgrounds, this is a great way to fuse your cultures!
Cilantro Mint Sauce
1. Â Into a large bowl, grate theÂ ginger.Â Add the zest and juice of 1 lime, salt, Garam Masala (an Indian spice mix that can be found at most grocery stores) and fennel seeds (I like to buy whole seeds and toast them on a pan on the stove and then crush them with a mortar and pestle).Â Pour in vegetable oil and mix together.
Toss the chicken into the marinade and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.Â
2. Â Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Wash and dry the cilantro and mint. You can use a salad spinner or dry the herbs on a towel. They do not have to be bone dry. In a blender, add the mint, cilantro, shallot cut into quarters, the juice of 1 lime, water, sugar and salt. Puree the mixture. Â
3. Â Carefully slice a jalapeĂ±o in half, remove the inner seeds and mince the pepper. Stir the tiny pieces of pepper into the sauce.
4. Â Take the chicken out of the fridge so it can lose some of the chill. Then, pre-heat your grill. Cook the chicken on a medium heat grill until done. Timing varies based on size of the chicken pieces, so just refer to your meat thermometer for doneness. Or, cut into the chicken to see that the meat is opaque and the juices run clear.
Serve with delicious summer vegetables.
Tu Bishvat is a celebration of the connections we have to nature and the new year of trees.Â When it comes to food, trees provide us with fruit and nuts. This nutty pilaf and Tu BishvatÂ Marbella chicken is an ode to both fruit and nuts.
If you grew up with a copy of The Silver Palate in your parentsâ€™ kitchen then Chicken MarbellaÂ was definitely on the menu for a special occasion. In the summer we dream of fresh juicy fruit,Â but come fall and winter, dried fruit becomes a decadent and rich treat. We add raisins to saladsÂ to bring in some sweetness. We nibble on dried apricots or pears served on a cheese plate orÂ charcuterie board. Sweet dried papaya and pineapple and tart cranberries and cherries findÂ themselves sweetening up trail mixes as well.
The plum however, gets a bad rap when dried.Â Unless you grew up noshing on them as a filling for hamentaschen or as part of yourÂ grandmotherâ€™s tsimmes, prunes continue to be as unpopular as Brussels sprouts once were.Â Prunes have a sweet richness almost like a fortified wine or Port. They add that sweetness andÂ richness to this wonderful chicken dish that is perfect for a weeknight dinner or a specialÂ weekend meal.
What I love about this dinner is that both the pilaf and the chicken cook in the oven so all youÂ have to do is prep everything and let it cook. The warm oven will keep you toasty and theÂ smells wafting out once everything starts to cook is heavenly. You do, however, need to planÂ ahead a little to allow time for the chicken to marinate. I suggest prepping the chicken the nightÂ before, but in a pinch all you need is two hours of marinating time.
Tu Bishvat Marbella Chicken with Nutty Barley Pilaf
For the chicken before cooking
For the Pilaf
1.Â The chicken will need to marinate for at least two hours or overnight. The pilaf cooks for 2-3Â hours in the oven and the chicken will cook in the oven next to the pilaf for the last 40Â minutes, so plan accordingly. Preheat the oven to 350Â°F.
2. Place the chicken breasts and thighs in a large bowl (glass is best). Sprinkle the chickenÂ with 2 tsp. of Kosher salt, 1 tsp. of pepper and 1/4 cup of oregano. Mix the chicken so that itÂ is covered with the seasonings. If you have a garlic press, press the garlic cloves from bothÂ heads of garlic over the chicken. If you do not have a press, just mince the garlic finely. MixÂ the chicken one more time to spread the garlic around.Â Over the chicken, pour: 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cupÂ of olive oil.
3. Slice the cornichons into tiny rounds and toss them into the bowl with the cornichonÂ brine. Add in the prunes, pitted olives and the bay leaves to the chickenÂ as well.Â Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or at least 2 hours).
Pilaf & Chicken:
1. For the pilaf you will start by very coarsely chopping the 1/2 cup of blanched almonds andÂ browning them on the stove in a large dry pan over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes. DoÂ not step away or the nuts will go from blanched to burnt in seconds.
2. Set the nuts aside in a bowl or plate and then add 1 Tbsp. of oil to the pan. Over mediumÂ high heat, heat the oil and when warm, toss in 1/2 cup of the broken vermicelli. Stir theÂ vermicelli to coat with oil and continue cooking and stirring until the vermicelli are a darkÂ golden brown. Set the vermicelli aside with the nuts.
3. Chop the onion and two cloves of garlic. Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to the pan, over mediumÂ heat. Toss the onion into the pan and sautĂ© until it becomes translucent. Then, add in theÂ minced garlic and 1 cup of barley. SautĂ© for 2 more minutes. In the pan, add the toastedÂ vermicelli and almond. Toss to mix everything together.
4.Â Add everything from the pan into a 3 quart baking dish as well as 4 cups of chicken broth.
5. Place the dish in the oven and cook uncovered for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the stock is
6. Now to finish the chicken. Take out a baking tray or two oven safe serving dishes that will fitÂ all the chicken without crowding it. Arrange the chicken on your tray or serving dishes in aÂ single layer. Pour the marinade, prunes, cornichons, bay leaves and olives around theÂ chicken. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of brown sugar on top of the chicken. If you like a sweeter dish,Â you can use up to 1/2 cup of brown sugar. If you like tangy and vinegary dishes, 1/4 cup isÂ plenty.
7. Pour 1/2 cup of white wine around the chicken and cook for 40 minutes at 350Â°F.
8. Once the chicken is cooked through, you can separate the pan juices to serve on the sideÂ and pour over the chicken and pilaf, or you can leave it together in the serving dish.
Whatever you do, be sure to spoon some sauce over the chicken and the pilaf before
Looking for another chicken recipe for Shabbat? Try this easy Ginger Sesame Roast Chicken.
This bok choy recipe is a companion to my Ginger Sesame Roast Chicken, but pairs well with most meats.