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Chicken with Prune Stuffing, Morrocan-Flavored - meat

Posted by : Karen Selwyn

Since mixed fruit compote -- heavy on the prunes -- appeared with
predictable regularity on my Ashkenazi grandmother's table for every
holiday, it was something of a surprise to learn that prunes were part
of Sephardic cooking tradition, too. This recipe takes the flavors of
Moroccan tagine and creates a new dish.

Karen Selwyn

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Morrocan-Flavored Chicken with Prune Stuffing

           1 cup pitted dried prunes 
           1/4 cup olive oil 
           2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
           1/4 cup diced onion 
           1/4 cup diced celery 
           1/4 cup diced carrots 
           1 teaspoon curry powder 
           1 teaspoon ground cardamom 
           2 whole matzos, crumbled 
           1 egg 
           Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
           4 whole chicken breasts, skin on, boned and halved 
           8 lemon wedges 

           Place the prunes in a small saucepan and add water to
           cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and
           simmer until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and dice.
           Set aside. 

           Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with
           foil, shiny side down. 

           To prepare the stuffing, heat the oil in a large skillet
           over medium heat and saute the garlic, onion, celery,
           carrots, prunes, curry powder, and cardamom. Let
           cool. Add the matzos and egg. Season with salt and
           pepper. 

           Place a chicken breast, skin side down, on a work
           surface and spoon stuffing in the center. Roll up the
           chicken breast, encasing the stuffing, and tie with a
           cotton string. Place on the baking sheet. Brush with 
           oil, and season with salt and pepper. 

           Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. 

           Bake for 30 minutes, then increase the heat to 425
           degrees. Bake about 5 minutes more, or until the
           chicken is tender and crisp. Transfer to a cutting board
           and slice on the bias. [Note: The cross sections of the
           chicken and stuffing make a pretty presentation, but this
           step can be omitted.  A crisp golden brown skin will be 
           an attractive presentation, too.]

           Serve with lemon wedges. 

           Serves 8. 


"Although ideal as a Passover entree, these are fitting for Rosh Hashana
because of the carrot-prune stuffing that tastes much like a traditional
tzimmes (carrot stew). This Moroccan-inspired dish, flavored with curry
and cardamom, pairs well with oven-roasted potatoes."
                                           Julie Riven

Original source: Adapted from Master Chefs Cook Kosher
                 Judy Zeidler

Current source: Cook's Library: Jewish Treasures
                Julie Riven
                BOSTON GLOBE (on-line edition), 9/9/98

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