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Some people think chicken is boring and unexciting, but I disagree, especially when it comes to a whole roasted chicken.
To me, a large roasted chicken coming out of the oven, crispy-skinned and glistening, fragrant with the aromas of a happy family dinner, is so impressive, so festive, that I always serve it during the Jewish High Holidays. 
And can I tell you the other benefits?
Chicken is extraordinarily versatile. You can season it so many ways that you will never run out of ideas. Spice it with Baharat or sprinkle it with fresh chopped rosemary. Or just salt and pepper. Drizzle it with Balsamic vinegar and a bit of orange peel. Baste it with orange juice or wine or chicken stock. Give it some heat with jalapeno peppers or harissa or make it sweet and mild by cooking it with apples and honey.
I could go on, except I need to tell you that making roasted chicken is EASY.
Here’s the proof:      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Roasted Chicken
 
1 roasting chicken, 5-6 pounds
1 tablespoon olive oil 
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
garlic powder and paprika, optional
ras el hanout, baharat, garam masala, harissa, chopped fresh herbs to taste, optional
1 to 1-1/2 cups chicken stock, white wine or juice
 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove any pinfeathers and extra flesh and fat from the chicken. Take out the package of giblets inside the cavity (you may save these pieces for stock, except for the liver, or roast them along with the chicken). Brush the olive oil all over the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and optional seasonings. Place the chicken breast side down on a rack placed inside a roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes. Pour the stock (wine or juice) over the chicken and roast for another 15 minutes. Turn the chicken breast side up. Roast the chicken, basting occasionally, for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken, or until the chicken is cooked through (a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees or 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh). Remove the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with pan juices (you may strain the pan fluids if desired, and/or reduce them to desired thickness by boiling the fluids in a small saucepan over high heat). 
Makes 6 servings 

 

Some people think chicken is boring and unexciting, but I disagree, especially when it comes to a whole roasted chicken.

To me, a large roasted chicken coming out of the oven, crispy-skinned and glistening, fragrant with the aromas of a happy family dinner, is so impressive, so festive, that I always serve it during the Jewish High Holidays. 

And can I tell you the other benefits?

Chicken is extraordinarily versatile. You can season it so many ways that you will never run out of ideas. Spice it with Baharat or sprinkle it with fresh chopped rosemary. Or just salt and pepper. Drizzle it with Balsamic vinegar and a bit of orange peel. Baste it with orange juice or wine or chicken stock. Give it some heat with jalapeno peppers or harissa or make it sweet and mild by cooking it with apples and honey.

I could go on, except I need to tell you that making roasted chicken is EASY.

Here’s the proof:      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Roasted Chicken

 

1 roasting chicken, 5-6 pounds

1 tablespoon olive oil 

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

garlic powder and paprika, optional

ras el hanout, baharat, garam masala, harissa, chopped fresh herbs to taste, optional

1 to 1-1/2 cups chicken stock, white wine or juice

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove any pinfeathers and extra flesh and fat from the chicken. Take out the package of giblets inside the cavity (you may save these pieces for stock, except for the liver, or roast them along with the chicken). Brush the olive oil all over the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and optional seasonings. Place the chicken breast side down on a rack placed inside a roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes. Pour the stock (wine or juice) over the chicken and roast for another 15 minutes. Turn the chicken breast side up. Roast the chicken, basting occasionally, for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken, or until the chicken is cooked through (a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees or 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh). Remove the chicken to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with pan juices (you may strain the pan fluids if desired, and/or reduce them to desired thickness by boiling the fluids in a small saucepan over high heat).

Makes 6 servings

 

For me, the sight of the first autumn pomegranates isn’t a culinary experience so much as an emotional one. I picture my mother, young and beautiful, opening the door because my great uncle, my feter, has come to visit. He adored my mother —and she adored him — and I think he walked all the distance from his synagogue to our house, just to see her.
He came bearing gifts for us kids, my two brothers and me: root beer lollypops with pretzel-like twisted handles.
And pomegranates.
My brothers and I would peel off the thick pomegranate shell, bite off chunks of the glossy seeds and swish them around in our mouths. We downed the tangy juice and spit out the pits, phtoo, phtoo, phtoo to see whose went farthest. My mother rolled her eyes back in mock exasperation.
I can’t look at a pomegranate without thinking of my mother’s Uncle Mendel (she called him Max).
I haven’t actually eaten a pomegranate in quite a long time. These days the closest I’ve come is pomegranate juice, because it’s so healthy, and pomegranate molasses, because it’s so deliciously tangy and so useful. Like as a glaze for carrots, which I am going to serve as a side dish for Rosh Hashanah.
But I also bought a whole pomegranate yesterday and will feast on it like in the old days, when I was a kid and my mother was still with us and feter used to visit.
Now, if only I could find me some root beer lollypops.

                                                                                                                 

Carrots with Pomegranate Molasses Glaze

2 pounds carrots
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
salt, freshly ground black pepper, cinnamon, ground cumin, cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the carrots and cut them into strips (about 3-inches long, 3/8-inch wide). Place the strips on the parchment paper. Pour the coconut oil and vegetable oil over the carrots and toss to coat the carrots completely. Sprinkle the carrots lightly with salt, black pepper,  cinnamon, cumin and cayenne pepper. Toss again.
Roast the carrots for 15-18 minutes, stirring the strips 2-3 times. Pour the pomegranate molasses over the carrots and toss to coat them. Roast the carrots for another 6-8 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until tender and glazed. Place the strips in a serving bowl, sprinkle with mint and serve.
Makes 8 servings
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For me, the sight of the first autumn pomegranates isn’t a culinary experience so much as an emotional one. I picture my mother, young and beautiful, opening the door because my great uncle, my feter, has come to visit. He adored my mother —and she adored him — and I think he walked all the distance from his synagogue to our house, just to see her.

He came bearing gifts for us kids, my two brothers and me: root beer lollypops with pretzel-like twisted handles.

And pomegranates.

My brothers and I would peel off the thick pomegranate shell, bite off chunks of the glossy seeds and swish them around in our mouths. We downed the tangy juice and spit out the pits, phtoo, phtoo, phtoo to see whose went farthest. My mother rolled her eyes back in mock exasperation.

I can’t look at a pomegranate without thinking of my mother’s Uncle Mendel (she called him Max).

I haven’t actually eaten a pomegranate in quite a long time. These days the closest I’ve come is pomegranate juice, because it’s so healthy, and pomegranate molasses, because it’s so deliciously tangy and so useful. Like as a glaze for carrots, which I am going to serve as a side dish for Rosh Hashanah.

But I also bought a whole pomegranate yesterday and will feast on it like in the old days, when I was a kid and my mother was still with us and feter used to visit.

Now, if only I could find me some root beer lollypops.

                                                                                                                 

Carrots with Pomegranate Molasses Glaze

2 pounds carrots

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

salt, freshly ground black pepper, cinnamon, ground cumin, cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the carrots and cut them into strips (about 3-inches long, 3/8-inch wide). Place the strips on the parchment paper. Pour the coconut oil and vegetable oil over the carrots and toss to coat the carrots completely. Sprinkle the carrots lightly with salt, black pepper,  cinnamon, cumin and cayenne pepper. Toss again.

Roast the carrots for 15-18 minutes, stirring the strips 2-3 times. Pour the pomegranate molasses over the carrots and toss to coat them. Roast the carrots for another 6-8 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until tender and glazed. Place the strips in a serving bowl, sprinkle with mint and serve.

Makes 8 servings

If you’re a kid, September means school.
If you’re a tree, September means gold and red leaves.
If you’re Jewish, September means brisket.
That’s because Rosh Hashanah is in September and although I haven’t done an actual, scientific study, there’s little doubt in my mind that brisket is the most popular dinner entree for Rosh Hashanah.
Everyone’s grandma has a special family recipe, but even though the seasonings may be different from family to family and some versions are sweeter than others and some include vegetables while others don’t, Rosh Hashanah Ashkenazi-style brisket is typically braised in lots of liquid and served with pan gravy.
Unfortunately my family won’t eat braised brisket and pan gravy.
When I prepare brisket, it’s always barbecued, more like Texas-style. I have some relatives in Texas, so I guess it’s okay. 
The meat is slooooow-cooked first, so it’s soft. But then it’s crisped up on the grill (or roasted in a hot oven or under a broiler), so it gets those gorgeous, crunchy, blackened burnt ends that are slightly chewy and lusciously sticky. 
Texas-style brisket with Apricot/Honey Barbecue Glaze. It’s what’s for Rosh Hashanah.                                                       



 
Texas Style Brisket with Apricot Honey Glaze:

Brisket:
whole brisket of beef (about 8-10 pounds)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large onions, sliced
                                                                                                                          
Barbecue Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small chili pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup cold brewed coffee
1/4 cup honey 
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup brown sugar
pinch of ground clovesTo make the brisket: Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place the meat in a large roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Scatter the onions on top. Cover the pan tightly. Bake for 7-8 hours or until the meat is soft and tender. Remove the meat and onions. Puree the onions and pan juices to use for gravy over mashed potatoes (or noodles, other starches). Let the meat cool. Trim any large pieces of fat that have not melted. Set aside.
NOTE: you can make this with a smaller chunk of meat (cooking time shorter).
About a half hour before serving, remove the meat from the refrigerator and place it in a large roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slather some of the barbecue sauce over the meat and roast for about 15-20 minutes, turning the meat once and brushing it occasionally with more of the sauce (you will probably use a little more than half the amount of sauce). Slice and serve. OR: broil the brisket or reheat on a preheated outdoor grill.
Makes 10-12 servings
 
To make the barbecue sauce: Pour the olive oil into a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes to soften them slightly. Add the ketchup, jam, coffee, honey, cider vinegar, brown sugar and cloves and stir to blend them. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 12-15 minutes or until thick.
Makes about 2-1/2 cups

If you’re a kid, September means school.

If you’re a tree, September means gold and red leaves.

If you’re Jewish, September means brisket.

That’s because Rosh Hashanah is in September and although I haven’t done an actual, scientific study, there’s little doubt in my mind that brisket is the most popular dinner entree for Rosh Hashanah.

Everyone’s grandma has a special family recipe, but even though the seasonings may be different from family to family and some versions are sweeter than others and some include vegetables while others don’t, Rosh Hashanah Ashkenazi-style brisket is typically braised in lots of liquid and served with pan gravy.

Unfortunately my family won’t eat braised brisket and pan gravy.

When I prepare brisket, it’s always barbecued, more like Texas-style. I have some relatives in Texas, so I guess it’s okay. 

The meat is slooooow-cooked first, so it’s soft. But then it’s crisped up on the grill (or roasted in a hot oven or under a broiler), so it gets those gorgeous, crunchy, blackened burnt ends that are slightly chewy and lusciously sticky. 

Texas-style brisket with Apricot/Honey Barbecue Glaze. It’s what’s for Rosh Hashanah.                                                       

 

Texas Style Brisket with Apricot Honey Glaze:

Brisket:

whole brisket of beef (about 8-10 pounds)

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 large onions, sliced

                                                                                                                          

Barbecue Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small chili pepper, deseeded and chopped

2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup apricot jam

1/2 cup cold brewed coffee

1/4 cup honey 

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup brown sugar

pinch of ground cloves

To make the brisket: Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Place the meat in a large roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Scatter the onions on top. Cover the pan tightly. Bake for 7-8 hours or until the meat is soft and tender. Remove the meat and onions. Puree the onions and pan juices to use for gravy over mashed potatoes (or noodles, other starches). Let the meat cool. Trim any large pieces of fat that have not melted. Set aside.

NOTE: you can make this with a smaller chunk of meat (cooking time shorter).

About a half hour before serving, remove the meat from the refrigerator and place it in a large roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slather some of the barbecue sauce over the meat and roast for about 15-20 minutes, turning the meat once and brushing it occasionally with more of the sauce (you will probably use a little more than half the amount of sauce). Slice and serve. OR: broil the brisket or reheat on a preheated outdoor grill.

Makes 10-12 servings

 

To make the barbecue sauce: Pour the olive oil into a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes to soften them slightly. Add the ketchup, jam, coffee, honey, cider vinegar, brown sugar and cloves and stir to blend them. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 12-15 minutes or until thick.

Makes about 2-1/2 cups