This time of year, I get many requests for unique recipes and suggestions when it comes to Rosh Hashana meals. Truth is, unique isn't always my favorite route to take. When it comes to the holidays, I tend to stick with my tried and true recipes, those that never fail me and always result in rave reviews... The chicken recipe below is a perfect example. Made with pumpkin, figs, cinnamon and red wine, I feel like its the perfect way to bring in the Jewish new year, introducing these wonderful, aromatic fall flavors. Also, any recipe that encourages me to drink while cooking, always makes me happy. This recipe can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, which is always a bonus. It is sophisticated, but simple to prepare, and I can assure you that the aromas that fill your home will make you want to prepare it over and over again. It presents beautifully, as it is sprinkled with toasted almond slices, and goes perfectly with golden rice, potatoes or couscous.
Let me know what you think...
Chicken with Pumpkin, Figs and Honey
12 pieces of skinless chicken, on or off the bone
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, peeled
2 garlic cloves
leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
15 ounce can plain pumpkin puree
1 cup dried mission figlets or 2 cups fresh figs, stemmed
2 cinnamon sticks, cracked
1 teaspoon ground allspice
¼ cup honey
1 cup red wine
1 ¼ cup water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
toasted slivered almonds
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a food processor, (or by hand) chop up the onions, garlic, rosemary and thyme…don’t let it get mushy…Just a few quick pulses.
Heat the oil in a heavy roasting pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, garlic, rosemary and thyme for about 6 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken pieces, and brown for several minutes. Meanwhile, In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, the figs, cinnamon, allspice, honey, wine, and water. (This is usually the point where I pour myself a glass of red…once the bottle is opened- why not?) Pour over the chicken. The smell should be so beyond right now. Spoon the sauce all over the chicken. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium. Cover, and cook for about 45 minutes up to 1 hour. Place the chicken pieces on a serving platter, Spoon the sauce over, and sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top.