*Please note, and the following is 100% true; just ask any Jewish person in The United States of America.…*
Jews like to make enough food to feed a small army. This is how we are wired. If you are Italian you will understand this. We can't help it. It's in our blood. You are more than welcome to come to me for leftovers. Leftovers are good. Leftovers are happy. Please do not just show up; I need to put a bra on first.
This recipe I’m saying is for 8 people. YOU WILL HAVE SHIT TONS OF LEFTOVERS. Confused? Read the above again. This time more slowly.
This is doubly true because, also a FACT, Jews make brisket for Passover so this is not your only main course dish. Breathe into this if this is not your comfort zone. Say out loud “leftovers are happy”. When your husband (yes, this is a sexist statement here, but Bazz doesn’t know cooking from his ass and I’ve heard “write what you know” and Bazz is what I know) stomps around the house complaining that you have bought too much food tell him sweetly that he is right. Tell him to please get into the car and go return half. Pretend to rummage through your camouflage evil eye bag (that’s the one I usually carry) looking for the receipt from the 3 different grocery stores you have shopped at this week. He will shut the fuck up immediately. He will stop complaining and he will disappear. Job well done, my friend. Throw on some tunes. It’s time to cook.
I grew up with this recipe at our Passover table. After my mom passed away my friend Liz asked me to come to her house to show her how to make it. Now I have a new tradition that I look forward to each year. Liz and I prep Ina’s Passover Chicken together. It’s so easy that it takes us about 30 minutes, but we laugh as we whisk and Ina’s memory is kept alive and her wonderful cooking lives on now in Liz’s home for her holiday.
I love the idea that now Ina will live on in yours, as well.
Tiny Ina loved making this one; I believe for a few reasons. Most importantly, it’s insanely delicious. It’s sweet, it’s tangy, it’s layered with flavor, and it’s ridiculously easy to make. Passover is a tremendous amount of prep and work. This chicken recipe will make your life easier and your holiday sweeter. It can be prepared days in advance and frozen ahead of time or like I’m doing, made the day before and marinated overnight, and then cooked 1 hour before serving the day of. Either way, it’s gonna be your new fave.
Best part is, it doesn’t have to be Passover to make it and you don't have to be Jewish to love it. I’m super inclusive like that. Just don't serve it to next to an Easter ham. Ina will totally haunt you for that.
2 whole organic chickens cut into pieces
Call your butcher ahead of time and say this: “Hello, this is The Bee (you should say your own name here). May I please have you clean and cut up 2 whole organic chickens for me? I’d like anything scary and red removed please. Correct. I want the chickens to look like they were never chickens. Not a red spot, not a bag of innards, not a wisp of a feather should remain. Please cut the breasts into 4 pieces. Don’t giggle when you say “breasts.” Thank you sooooooo much! Buzz! Buzz!” You can leave out the Buzz Buzz if you’d like to, but I think it's fun to mess with my butcher a little; plus, it’s super on brand.
*Another note: Jews buy extra ingredients. This is smart. Especially on a holiday. You might not use all of them but these are items that you’ll be happy to have on hand and can be stored in your pantry. Plus, you must learn to eyeball your ingredients. Don’t be scared. I’m gonna show you. Bottom line, extra is shiny. Bee extra!*
1 bottle of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
Read the above again and buy 2.
1 bottle of Fig Spread. This is sorta like a jam. My favorite on earth is “Dalmatia.”
If your local market or Whole Foods doesn’t have it, a local cheese shop should. If all else fails feel free to shop my Amazon store (#shamelessplug). Scroll down on this page and click the link to shop my favorites (or just click here)! How easy is that! It’s under “The Bee’s Pantry!” Not panties. PANTRY! And my link is a two pack! See! I’m Jewish!!!!
If you buy 1 you're clearly not getting this and I don't want to hear that your sauce was too thick and that you didn’t have anything to thin it out properly with. My favorite brand and the one I’m cooking with today is also linked for you (and you can click here)!
½ Box of Dark Brown Sugar
1 large bottle of Worcestershire
You won't use the whole bottle. You’ll use approximately a third of the bottle.
1 container dried apricots
1 container dried prunes
What you’ll need:
A large mixing bowl
A wire whisk
If you are preparing days in advance you will need large deep Tupperware. I love the long ass rectangular ones for this recipe.
If you are a procrastinator (like me) and/or your new website has taken over your life (echem!) you can prepare this the day before and store the chicken in the glass Pyrex that you will bake your chicken in.
DO NOT USE AN ALUMINUM TIN TO BAKE IN. Aluminum, first off, has been linked to Alzheimer's and other scary shit. Don't worry, I’m not gonna lecture you, but I love you and you should know this stuff! Also, aluminum does not mesh well with anything acidic! And you are using vinegar! Vinegar is ACIDIC! So, no. Your chicken will be ruined if you decide to press on. You’ve been warned. SCARY BEE!
Mix all ingredients together, except your dried fruit, in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk, whisk, whisk, whisk until smooth.
Taste, taste, taste, taste.
This means take a clean spoon and taste your sauce. Like more mustard? Add more. Like more Worcestershire? Add more. Like it a little sweeter? Add more brown sugar.
This is how I cook. You should, too. It may be uncomfortable at first, but please, it's food! Taste with curiosity, whisk with joy, and trust your taste buds!
Place the chicken pieces in your glass Pyrex or Tupperware bins.
Season your chicken with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder (I hate pepper but because this is a sweet sauce I add a fine dusting of it).
Pour sauce over chicken.
Scatter apricots and prunes over sauce and around chicken pieces.
Say a Hebrew prayer. I’m kidding.
If you are preparing in Tupperwares ahead of time, cover tightly with lids. Shake bins to make sure sauce has coated all of the chicken pieces and store in the fridge or even your freezer.
If you are preparing in glass Pyrex, use tongs to coat chicken pieces thoroughly in sauce and tent the Pyrex with foil or plastic wrap. Here foil is fine as it’s just being used as a cover.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
One hour before serving, cook the chicken covered in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
Raise the oven to 375 degrees, remove the foil and continue cooking for an additional 30-35 minutes and until the chicken is deeply golden.
Think of Ina.
Happy holidays everyone.