Roasted Chicken Wrapped in Ramps

Our fridge died this past week. It happened to give its final burst of cold air on a 90+ degree day. My kind of luck, right? So with that fridge, out went lots of food.

Somehow, the fridge and food mess happened at the right time. Things like these rarely do. It just worked out that we were able to find and buy a new fridge pretty quickly, thanks to the fine people at the Sears outlet. Just six or so hours after the fridge was delivered, I also had a brand new Fresh Direct order delivered to my door. It’s those little big things that happen, that can make your week look a little less bleak.

This was the first time I ordered through Fresh Direct, the fabulous online grocery delivery service. I am thrilled they have begun to deliver to my neighborhood. I was very impressed with their selection and prices.

So it happened, that I found myself looking at the most beautiful bunch of fresh and local ramps. Have you tried ramps? Ramps are a variety of wild leeks. They have a short season – usually found in my area in the Spring time. They are wildly popular. It seems that as soon as you see them at the farmer’s market, you must grab them fast, or they will be gone before you know it. So this season, every time I have seen them, I have been sure to grab them so that I don’t miss out.

I really love the way ramps look when cooked whole. I find them both pretty and tasty. Their dark green leaves add so much to the look of a dish. They taste fantastic too!

For a recent Shabbat dinner, I chose to wrap some chicken drumsticks in the ramps and glaze them with a sauce, then roast them in the oven. I loved the way these looked, both raw and cooked. They tasted even better.

I began my liberally sprinkling the chicken with salt and fresh ground pepper. I trimmed and washed the ramps and then wrapped them whole around each drumstick. I then brushed each chicken leg with the sauce I prepared and poured the rest of the glaze over the chicken. I then baked the chicken at 375 for about an hour. Everyone enjoyed this chicken. It was served up with some fresh roasted asparagus and roasted sunchokes.

 

You really can’t go wrong with this chicken dish. Enjoy!

ramp-wrapped-chicken

Roasted Chicken Wrapped in Ramps
 
Author:
Recipe type: Poultry, Main Course

Ingredients
  • 1 package chicken pieces (I used drumsticks)
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bunch of wraps (1 ramp per chicken piece)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Wash and dry your chicken pieces.
  3. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap each piece of chicken in a ramp and place in baking dish.
  5. In a small bowl, mix up the maple syrups, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, and ginger.
  6. Brush the glaze mixture on to chicken. Pour any remaining mixture over the chicken.
  7. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper oven the chicken.
  8. Bake in the oven at 375 for about an hour. Check the chicken for doneness.
  9. Enjoy!

 

Chicken with Chickpeas

Some people collect stamps. We collect cookbooks. The cookbook doesn’t have to be popular. It doesn’t have to have a celebrity chef attached. It just has to be interesting. I like the cookbooks that come with stories attached to each food. I rarely cook straight from a recipe anymore, but I like the cookbooks for inspiration, and they keep me company in the kitchen.

Several years ago, while on a visit to my aunt, I came across her well leafed copy of Claudia Roden’s cookbook “The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey From Samarkand to New York.” Paging through the recipes that span the world…I knew I had to have this coobook. We finally found the cookbook reasonably priced at a Half Priced Books and quickly got to work deciding what to cook first.  To be honest, I have only made maybe three recipes from this cookbook, but cookbooks to me are more for inspiration rather than cooking straight from them.

On a whim…we randomly opened to a sephardi section of the book – and blindly pointed to a recipe. In a “pick a card any card” fashion, our finger landed on the Chicken with Chickpeas recipe. The first time I made the recipe, I followed it to a T, and it was amazing. The next couple times, I slowly adapted it.  This past shabbat, I made this dish for Friday night dinner…and then and there, my husband and guests insisted I make it again during the week to be eaten and posted to the blog. I laughed…and I obliged.


Chicken with Chickpeas – adapted from “The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey
From Samarkand to New York.” by Claudia Roden

Ingredients:

1.5 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 whole chicken, cut up
1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas
lemon zest (from a whole lemon)
juice of 1 lemon
10 cardamom pods, cracked
salt
pepper

In a large dutch oven, saute the onion until soft. Add in the turmeric, garlic, and ginger and sautee until fragrant.

Add in the chicken pieces and brown the chicken.  Turn them over after about 8 minutes.

Add in the chickpeas and the cardamom.

Add in about 4 cups of water.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and cover.  Cook for about an hour.  Serve with rice.  Enjoy!


IMG_0711

Baked Five Spice Chicken

This Friday was a rare Friday that I had some extra time to burn. I took a rare vacation day. Let me tell you – I am totally jealous of all of you who either take Fridays off or work from home on Fridays. That lifestyle would be totally amazing. My 10:30 hair appointment felt so bizarre, so unlike me, and so luxurious! By noon, I started thinking about the coming Shabbat. In a perfect world, Shabbat meals would be totally planned out and mostly cooked by Thursday night. Alas, this is my world. I buy the ingredients on Thursday without a menu in mind. It works for me. For the most part, Shabbat is put together in the better part of the hour right before Shabbat. Having so much time this Friday for Shabbat planning was like a spa day in my eyes. Around 2pm, I pulled out the raw chicken I had purchased the day before. A whole, cut up chicken. What to do, what to do. I opened my overstuffed spice cabinet and some garlic powder and five spice powder containers flew down at me and hit my forehead. Well…if it smacks you in the head….turn it into a dinner? Isn’t that what they always say? I guess it could work…and it did! The five spice melded into the chicken beautifully! Sorry for the lack of pictures. It was Shabbat, and the chicken was devoured.

Baked Five Spice Chicken
Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cut up
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. dry sherry
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. minced ginger
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tsp. five spice

Place the chicken skin side up in a baking pan.

Mix up the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk.

Pour over the chicken. Cover the the chicken and marinate for an hour or two.

Preheat oven to 375.

Bake chicken covered for 40 minutes.

Uncover chicken and continue baking until done. Let the skin get crispy.

Enjoy!

Morrocan Chicken Over Couscous

Someone recently shared with me a Moroccan chicken dish recipe that is cooked in the crockpot. It sounded good, but I am not so big on crockpot cooking (even though I secretly want to be). I decided to adapt the recipe to make it on the stove and also upped the spice ante a bit as well. I was very happy with how easy it was and how well it turned out. Even my 7-year-old asked for second helpings. She ate the chicken and didn’t just pick out the olives! She never asks for second helpings, unless its mac and cheese. So this was the ultimate compliment a mom could get.

Morrocan Chicken Over Couscous
Ingredients:

1 cut up chicken
salt
pepper
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
2 carrots, chopped, or a good handful or baby carrots, cut up
rind of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup of white wine
handful of green olives
In a large pan or dutch oven, heat up some olive oil. Add in the ginger. Saute 1 minute.
Dust your chicken with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken to the pot and brown on both sides for 5-10 minutes per side.

Add in the onions and the garlic. Cook for a few minutes. Add in the spices.

Add the lemon rind and the lemon juice. Add in the carrots.

Add the broth and the wine. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, cook up the couscous. Couscous is super easy. Put the desired amount of couscous in a bowl, and the same amount of boiling water, and cover and let sit for 5-7 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

About 3 minutes before serving the chicken, toss in the olives.

Serve the chicken over the couscous. Enjoy!

Maple Roasted Chicken with Roasted Root Veggies

Really. it has been way too long. I really have been cooking. I haven’t just been feeding my kids fish sticks and mac and cheese out of a box. Though I have to admit, there have been many days where that is the only thing I feel like cooking. No, it’s not what you are thinking…I am not pregnant. All is ok.

Maple Roasted Chicken with Roasted Root Veggies
Ingredients:
2 medium red potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, sliced
1 large pasrnip, sliced
1 onion, cut up
1 turnip, cut up
1 sweet potato, cut up
2-3 shallots, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
Maple Syrup – approx. 1/4 cup
Dijon Mustard – 2-3 tbsp.
Olive Oil – 1/4 cup
Ginger Paste – 2-3 tbsp.
Salt
Pepper
Fresh Rosemary and Thyme, chopped
Chicken – either whole or cut up
1 Lemon, juiced if using chicken portions, cut in half, when using a whole chicken

In a roasting pan, lay out your cut veggies. Pour on a couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and a portion of your chopped herbage . Mix them up a little bit.

Lay the chicken on top of the vegetables. Consider the vegetables a sort of nest for the chicken. If using a whole chicken, fill the chicken cavity with the halved lemon, some herbs, and a few garlic cloves. If using chicken cut in pieces, sprinkle lemon juice, salt, and pepper over the chicken.
Mix up the maple syrup, ginger, mustard, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Pour over the chicken.

Place in a 375 degree oven covered for an hour. Remove the foil after an hour. Place back in oven for another 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Chicken Soup

I am sorry I have been neglectful. I have been cooking. I just got back from a mini-vacation to The City of Brotherly Love. It was a nice trip. After 4 days of eating in restaurants though, I wanted something comforting and home-made. It had to be soup. There is something so comforting and warming about the perfect chicken soup. Throw in a matzo ball and a few egg noodles, and I am in soup heaven.

Of course everyone has their own version of chicken soup. Some like it packed with stuff, some like broth, some like lots of chicken parts in it, some even add meat to it (the horror!). I like my soup simple. I like it with some veggies, but with the broth strained. I like minimal chicken parts in the soup.

I was never given a recipe for soup. I am sure if I asked my mom, she would give me a rundown of what needs to go in soup. What I learned about soup, I learned from watching – except my mom does her chicken parts differently.

I used a huge stock pot, so I can freeze several meals of soup for later. I gather carrots, 3 yellow onions, 1 head of garlic, 3 parsnip, 2 turnips, celery, and some fresh dill, salt, pepper, a bay leaf, and of course – the chicken. This batch was made with a couple pounds of chicken wings, but any bone-in chicken parts would work. My mom uses a “soup chicken,” but I can’t get those at my local store.

I chop up the veggies.

Sauté the chopped onions, carrots, and celery. When the veggies are soft, add in the root veggies. I sometimes will add some sweet potato to the mix. Fill up the pot – not too full so it boils over, with cold water. I then put the chicken parts in a cheesecloth bag and deposit it in the soup-to-be. Add in the bay leaf and dill. The stove should be set to medium-high. The lid should be off. Let the soup come to a boil, this can take 30 minutes or so, depending on amount of liquid. I like to let the soup boil down a bit with the lid halfway on, so that the soup flavor is more concentrated. After slow boiling it for an hour, I let the soup simmer on low-ish overnight – the way my mom does it. In the morning you have an amazing wonderful smell coming from your kitchen.

Let the soup cool. Place the soup in to containers for eating later, or dig in. As far as the whole matzo ball/noodle part of the soup, those should not be frozen. Matzo balls and noodles should be made the day of soup eating. I buy my noodles. I like the thin egg noodles. I like the matzo ball mixes just fine, but the recipes that are on the back of the matza meal boxes work just fine. If you want your matza balls extra fluffy, some like to add a little bit of seltzer to the mix. Enjoy!

Tarragon Chicken

Happy Monday. I realized when I got home this evening that my fridge was pretty empty. A few veggies. Not much to work with. I usually do fruit and veggie shopping on Sundays, but it just didn’t happen yesterday.

I had taken out some chicken drumsticks to defrost last night – but had nothing planned for them. Drumsticks are always a hit with my daughter. When she was around 2, she decided to rename drumsticks with the name “poonie.” Not sure where it came from. She is creative like that. Mittens were called “pockins.”

Based on the contents of my fridge, or lack thereof, I came up with a menu of tarragon chicken, rice with peas, and steamed broccoli.

 

Hint: When cooking with wine, only use wine that you are willing to drink.

Most tarragon chicken recipes I have seen have some sort of cream base in it. Since we keep kosher, here is the recipe I came up with:

Ingredients

    • cut up chicken – I used a package of drumsticks

 

  • salt

 

 

  • fresh ground black pepper

 

 

  • olive oil

 

 

  • 5 Shallots

 

 

  • 1 onion

 

 

  • 5 cloves of garlic

 

 

  • 2 tbsp dried tarragon or a good handful of fresh tarragon – chopped

 

 

  • 1-2 Tbsp dijon mustard

 

 

  • 3/4 cup of good white wine

 

 

  • 1 cup of broth (chicken or veggie)

 

 

  • Chopped Plum Tomatoes (1-2)

 

Sprinkle salt and pepper on your chicken. Brown the chicken in olive oil about 5-10 minutes.

Chop up your garlic, onions, and shallots. Add it to the browned chicken. Let it saute 5 minutes.

Add in the liquids and the mustard. Stir a bit and bring up the browned bits. Bring to a boil, then turn the stove to low. Cover until chicken is done, around 20-30 minutes, depending on cut. Check on your chicken to make sure there is still some liquid in the pan. Throw in the tomatoes a few minutes before you are ready to eat. Yum! It is wonderful served with rice. Enjoy!

1 2