Archive for the 'kosher chicken dishes' Category



16
Sep
10

Chicken and Fruit Fricassee


Chef Jeff Nathan, owner /Chef of Abigael’s on Broadway sent us one of his favorite yom tov recipes:

Chicken and Fruit Fricassee

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup dry figs
  • ¾ cup dry apricots, diced
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups water, warm
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • pinch saffron
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • saffron
  • 2 3 pound chickens, cut into eighths
  • 2 onions, diced medium
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. In a small bowl combine the dry fruits with the water.
  2. Set aside and allow to plump at least 30 minutes.
  3. Drain and reserve the fruit water.
  4. In a separate small bowl, combine the brandy with the saffron & cinnamon.
  5. Allow to steep 20 – 30 minutes. Stir well.
  6. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour.
  7. In a large sauté pan of hot olive oil, brown the chicken on both sides.
  8. Transfer chicken to an ovenproof casserole.
  9. Pour off most of the remaining oil.
  10. Add the onions and garlic.
  11. Stir occasionally and cook until translucent.
  12. Add the dry fruits, tomato, brandy mix and reserved fruit water.
  13. Using a whisk, scrape the bottom of the pan for the pan drippings.
  14. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  15. Bake, uncovered at 350˚ F. for approximately 1 hour; or until the chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened slightly.
  16. Serve with couscous, rice pilaf, or herb simmered new potatoes.

Well, gentle reader, having eaten quite a few delightful lunches and dinners at Abigael‘s, having tried a lot of the recipes in Jeff Nathan’s Family Suppers, I know this one will be a special treat and… I plan to have in the Sukkah!

CS

Chicken and Fruit Fricassee

30
Aug
10

Sason Grill


Any faithful reader of this blog knows we have never reviewed pizza joints or take out places of any kind; we always confined our reviews to restaurants AND, even then, only to those establishments we could really rave about. So how come, today, I am reviewing a take out place? Why the sudden break from The Kosher Scene‘s usual practice? Truth be told, I never intended to deviate from our ways, however…

Yesterday afternoon, I passed by Sason Grill and the aroma emanating from the place (I’ve been blessed, or cursed, with a very strong sense of smell) suddenly made me hungry. It’s a tiny place, located on a side street off Brooklyn’s Avenue J (1012 East 15th Street; Brooklyn, NY 11230; Tel: 347.307.6647; under the hashgocho of Kehilla Kashrus), off the main street and very easy to miss. It looks extremely unpretentious, hardly enticing, but… don’t let appearances fool you!

Their menu includes only four items: Shawarma, Schnitzel, Falafel, and Hamburger. I ordered a Shawarma Sandwich Platter.

Juicy shawarma on the spit...

It came with two falafel balls, fried potatoes (cut Argentinian style, papas fritas we call them), and grape tomatoes on the plate – and a pickle, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant and tehina with the shawarma inside the pita – as you can see below:

Shawarma Sandwich Platter

The shawarma, made from fresh baby chicken meat, was very juicy; spiced liberally to give it that Middle Eastern flavor of cumin, etc, it was unusually delicious. I got a selection of the three house sauces: chimichurri, olive and tehina. All three made fresh in-house. The best part about this unexpected feast was, surprisingly, its low cost. Though it certainly lacked the presentation I’ve become accustomed to, it more than made up for it in flavor. I know I’ll be back again and again. Next time, I’ll even bring SYR with me.

CS

05
Jul
10

Saddle-up for Some Fine Fixins’ at Smokey Joe’s!


You don’t have to be a Texas long-horn to enjoy this round-up of superbly smoked and southern rustic Tex Mex cuisine at Smokey Joe’s (494 Cedar Lane; Teaneck, NJ. 07666; Telephone: 201.836.7427).  Décor is sun-burnt orange against ranch-rawhide woodsy panels; Marlboro manly man and stallion photos adorning the walls. Brown butcher block paper covers tables set with colorful southwestern china (don’t forget to ask Joe for doodling crayons).

A partial view of the dining area

Joe, the owner, looked for a unique niche in the market and not only found one, but honed it like an art form till it yielded a product that fills the house on a regular basis. Joe, or Yossi to his chevra, told us “Food is life; food is kodesh.” “It’s about craft and high quality. You’ve got to give it the time and attention it takes to develop.” And indeed Joe has done so. His 74” smoker (which he lovingly dubbed Dimona-2) is the nucleus of his operation, but just as important is his approach to food and business. “You’re not producing a widget or stereo; my personal commitment to making great food is a life-time journey!” “It’s also about having a good sense of hospitality when Jews come calling at your restaurant. It’s a little different than the hachnassas orchim (welcoming guests) we do at home.” Joe certainly shared that hospitality with us.

...it was hard to keep myself from reaching into that smoker... I confess...

Joe served up vittles Stephen J. Austin or Sam Houston would raise armies to fight for! The table started to fill up with outstanding home made cornbread with onion jam spread (you got to taste ‘em together to understand how awesome those flavors are together), refreshing iced tea and fresh squeezed lemon-ade and home made. Still warm tortilla chip (seriously, dangerously, addictive!) with freshly made guacamole for starters.

We were then treated to an assortment of Smokey Joe’s favorites. The Joe Dawg, the lamb merguez sausages, were marvelous; superbly smoked and flavored.

Lamb Merguez Joe Dawg

They’ve got six types to choose from, it wasn’t easy deciding which to try…

We then demolished their Beef Brisket (well… really… CS did, he kindly let me have one forkful before it was gone!) – smoked for up to 14 hours. The smoked taste did not overpower the brisket taste which was rich, marvelous. In a very uncharacteristic (well you saw the pictures of those ribs, how can you blame me?) uninhibited Flinstonian way, I dug into their long ribs which had been basted in a secret BBQ rub and smoked for around 5 hours in Dimona-2. (Surely, not first date action, unless you want to provide an instant inhibitions dissolver, right from the get-go) They were meaty, packed with flavor and delicious. I literally felt the spices coming through my pores. Quite unexpectedly, my favorite smoked entrée was the chicken.

Brisket, Grilled Chicken and Sweet Potato... mmm, mmm!

I just loved the way the subtle smokey flavor worked its way into the soft flesh of the chicken resulting in a fabulous taste. We had no room for their burgers and chocolate mole sauce, which we heard are outstanding. We’ll have to come back and try those as well as some of their other popular dishes.

A great homey place to come with family and friends to chill an’ enjoy southern smokin’ Jewish hospitality.

SYR

Smokey Joe's on Urbanspoon

02
Jul
10

Royal Persian Grill


Efraim Azari, owner of Royal Persian Grill (192 West Englewood Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666; Telephone: 201-833-1555) has an inspiring personal story which explains his evolution into the kosher restaurant business.

Originally from Teheran, Efraim emigrated to Israel with his family, when he was just a child of 4. He grew up in a Tel Hashomer kibbutz. as left wing as it gets. Raised on  ideology which stipulates that religious people were untrustworthy,  superstitious and downright foolish, he focused his energies on an enlightened worldly consciousness, athletic healthy body, excelling in karate and other martial arts.

Thirteen years ago, Efraim emigrated to Miami, with his wife and youngest son, where he built a large successful business. One day, his son informed his parents of his decision to become a ba’al tshuvah. Efraim and his wife were devastated, wondering where they had failed their child; no amount of dissuasion sufficed, he couldn’t be talked out of this folly! Shortly thereafter, another stroke of bad luck befell the Azaris; Efraim severely injured his right shoulder blade. The tear required complicated surgery, the pain was unbearable, and the operation failed. A wounded, tired, exasperated Efraim traveled the world in search of a top surgeon that specialized in his injury… He found one, and scheduled a second  operation, with the hoped that this time it would be successful. His nights were sleepless, excruciatingly painful, filled with channel surfing, Arak and other potables to numb the unceasing pain.

A few short weeks prior to the operation, Efraim’s son – now married and an avreich in a Monsey kollel – invited his parents for a visit. Though his core beliefs and lifestyle hadn’t changed one iota, Efraim couldn’t help but be impressed by the size and scope of the bet knesset and Yeshivat Or Yisrael. Before leaving, his son told Efraim that the Rosh Kollel wanted to give him a bracha (blessing). Little did he know his life was about to change… for ever…

“I hear you tore your shoulder blade,” the Rabbi said. “Yes,” Efraim answered. “And your first operation was a disaster.” “Yes,” Efraim answered. “And you’ve already scheduled a second operation.” “Yes,” Efraim answered. “I have the perfect doctor for you!” said the Rabbi. “With all due respect to the Rabbi I already have a top doctor,” Efraim answered. “You don’t understand, I can recommend THE top doctor to you.” “Please Rabbi, I already scheduled my operation!” “You don’t understand, I can recommend the best specialist for you,” repeated the Rosh Kollel. Again, at the urging of his wife, Efraim acquiesced and let the Rabbi continue. “Give me two hours a day of deep study, learn and thoroughly follow this book – which I’ll give you – on the Laws of Shabbat. Follow it thoroughly, do not pick and choose what’s convenient, or sensible, just follow it thoroughly or don’t waste your time warming a chair here. If you follow everything, the Doctor will cure you.” Reluctantly and again at his wife’s urging, Efraim committed himself to this. That very night, for the first time in almost a year, Efraim slept right, soundly; no pain, no needles, no shocks!

Refreshed, the next morning, he showed up at the Yeshiva, fascinated with the new teachings – revealing a heretofore unknown, undreamed of, world and a new purpose in life. Again that night he slept well, the pain had inexplicably eased up. After a week of refreshing sleep and productive learning, Efraim began to achieve some mobility in his injured arm and shoulder; soon all pain disappeared, full mobility and the use of his arm and shoulder returned. All without surgery… Believe it or not! The Doctor had done his job!!! “I’m a stubborn man,” Efraim says, “I don’t like change, but who can argue with obvious miracles when I experienced the healing in my own flesh?” I truly understood the meaning of Ani Hashem rofecha! – I am the Lord, your Doctor!” And so, the enlightened athlete who stumbled upon the courtyard of the Royal Palace in Monsey, stayed and learned. Four years ago, still dedicating several hours a day to his learning, he opened the Royal Persian Grill.

Royal Persian Grill

What makes the Persian cuisine different from Middle Eastern cooking? At the Royal Persian Grill they use a twenty five herb combo mix, a lot of parsley, cilantro, mind lemon and garlic, not hot spicy like some Israeli dishes, rather more sweet and sour. Rice accompanies many of the selections and is cooked differently than the usual western way. It’s cooked half way, then it gets washed in cold water, finally, it’s steamed. Thus, the kernels stay separated and retain their shape gleam and taste. We sampled one of their very popular Persian dishes. Ghorme Sabzi- a thick beef stew- a Persian cholent – if you will – with rice, red beans and meat. It was earthy and filling. The second Persian favorite was Beef Bamya, a sweet and sour beef stew with okra. It wasn’t ready when we were there and we hope to sample it next time.

We started the meal with their Appetizer Salad Combo.

Appetizer Salad Combo with matbucha, hummus, Romanian eggplant, babaganoush and pikanti eggplant.

We enjoyed this dish with toasted pita covered with oil and zaatar (hyssop). All the salads, like the rest of the of the fare, are freshly made at the restaurant. This salad combo plate tasted very good!

Next, we ordered a very adequate Yemenite Meat Soup. We continued with a delicately seasoned Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled Chicken Breast w/fries and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes

Cooked just right, it was tender and juicy, as we sipped a refreshing iced lemon/mint tea.

We finished the meal with a superb Halva Ice Cream

Halva Ice Cream. Amaaazing!

…and an excellent Baklavah. Yehudis, our waitress, made our meal an absolute delight with her friendly solicitousness. We know we’ll be back!

CS

Royal on Urbanspoon

29
Apr
10

Cooking with Lévana – Part 4 – Recipes!


Lévana has again allowed us to share 2 recipes with our readers.

Zucchini and Fennel Soup

Hot, creamy, delicious!

1/3 cup olive oil
4 large leeks, sliced
8 cloves garlic
6 ribs celery, peeled
Heads and leaves of 3 large fennel bulbs (save some leaves for garnish)
3 large yellow zucchini, cut in large chunks
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon anise or fennel seeds
2 quarts water
2 cups dry white wine
Salt to taste
4 cups milk or non-dairy milk
Pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a wide heavy pot. In a food processor, coarsely grind the leeks, garlic and celery. Add to the skillet and sauté until translucent. Add all but the last 2 ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium and cook, covered 30 minutes. Add the milk and pepper and bring to just below boiling point. Cream the soup with an immersion blender. Adjust the texture and seasonings. Serve hot or chilled, topped with fennel leaves or you may sprinkle some celery over the soup.

Chicken Breasts with Artichokes and Carrots

Butterfly thinning the chicken cutlets

First the layer of chicken...

1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, choped
8 chicken cutlets, pounded medium thin, thoroughly dry
Flour
2 good pinches saffron
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 cups water
Ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup good quality sliced pitted olives
6 very thin carrots, cut into inch sections
1 pound artichoke hearts (whole) or bottoms (quartered)
1/3 cup lemon juice

...and then all the ingredients.

Heat the oil in a very large skillet. Add the onion and sauté 2-3 minutes. Roll the cutlets in flour, shaking out excess. Add to the skillet and sauté 2-3 minutes on each side. Add all but last ingredient and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook covered 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook another 2 minutes. Serve hot. Room temperature OK.

Enjoy!!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Cooking with Lévana – Part 3 – The Rush of the Rustic

Cooking with Lévana – Part 2 – Recipes!

Cooking with Lévana – Part 1

Lévana’s Recipe




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