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Supping in the Sukkah
In Israel, the weather is almost always warm during the seven-day festival of Sukkot. And many families enjoy their holiday meals in the palm-branch-roofed sukkah. Sukkot are often “attached” to the ubiquitous small Israeli apartments or down a few flights of stairs.
Easy-to-prepare — and-transport — meals are handy at this time of the year, and I believe we can all use a few easy, yet “different” and appealing, chicken breast recipes.
6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate
1 cup water
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (6 oz. each)
1 and 1⁄2 cups cornflake crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄4 tsp. black pepper
Mix lemonade concentrate and water in a shallow container. Place chicken between two sheets of waxed paper and pound with a mallet to 1⁄4-inch thickness.
Place in container with lemonade-water mixture. Refrigerate at least two hours, turning at least once.
Preheat oven to 375˚. Combine cornflake crumbs, garlic and pepper on a large plate.
Drain chicken, reserving lemonade mixture. Shake off excess liquid and dip each piece into cornflake mixture. Place in a lightly greased shallow baking pan.
Repeat with remaining slices. Add reserved lemonade.
Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes or until done.
Date-Nut Stuffed Chicken Breasts
4 whole large chicken breasts, skinned, boned and halved lengthwise
3 and 1⁄2 oz. unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped
3 and 1⁄2 oz. dates, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1⁄2 tsp. cumin
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1⁄2 cup semi-dry white wine
Preheat oven to 350˚. Lightly grease a shallow, rectangular baking dish.
Place chicken pieces between two layers of clear plastic wrap. Working from center out, pound chicken lightly with a mallet to make pieces about 1⁄4-inch thick. Peel off wrap.
Combine nuts, dates and seasonings in a small bowl. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture in the center of each prepared chicken piece.
Tuck in sides and roll up as for a jelly roll, pressing to seal. Secure with toothpicks. Transfer to baking dish. Repeat with remaining pieces.
Drizzle with oil and wine and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for about 1 hour or until tender.
Remove from oven. Chill in refrigerator for at least two hours, then slice crosswise with a sharp knife for a “pinwheel” effect.
1⁄4 cup Dijon-style mustard
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, minced
3⁄4 cup dry white wine
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Combine mustard, garlic, onion and wine in a large baking dish.
Add chicken breast halves. Turn to coat both sides. Cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 375˚. Bake chicken until cooked through, about half an hour. Arrange over a platter of shredded lettuce.
Spicy Chicken Breasts
Don’t be daunted by the long list of ingredients. You may omit one or two of the seasonings without any side effects. Except for a bit of oil drizzled on top, this chicken recipe is practically fat-free, and tastes deliciously different.
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1⁄8 cup blanched almonds
1⁄8 cup sunflower seeds
2 tsps. sesame seeds
1⁄2 tsp. toasted cumin seeds (or 1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin)
1 large garlic clove
2 and 1⁄2 oz. coconut
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 whole cloves (or substitute 1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves)
1 small red or green hot pepper, coarsely chopped
1⁄4 cup chicken stock
1 egg, beaten with 2 tsps. water
1⁄8 cup canola oil
Wash chicken breasts and pat dry. Cut in half. Flatten each half to 1⁄4-inch thickness between plastic wrap.
Preheat oven to 350˚. Place remaining ingredients (except stock, egg and oil) in a food processor.
Process until thoroughly combined. Add stock and mix once again. Place in a shallow bowl.
Dip chicken breasts into egg and then in herb mixture. Coat both sides and shake off excess.
Place in a lightly greased baking dish (they may overlap). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear.
Rivka Tal is a former Minnesotan who has lived in Jerusalem for the past 45 years. She is a food writer and translator. Email her at: [email protected].