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Supping in the Sukkah

September 27, 2012 By:
Rivka Tal
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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.

Lemonade Chicken
(Meat)

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.

Serves 6.

Date-Nut Stuffed Chicken Breasts
(Meat)

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.

Serves 8.

Mustard Chicken
(Meat)

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
shredded lettuce

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.

Serves 8.

Spicy Chicken Breasts
(Meat)

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.

Serves 6.

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: talriv@gmail.com.

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