Just as we all are recovering from the
procrastination, preparation, gluttony, and good times with family and friends that is Thanksgiving, Hannukah (sundown Dec. 1 thru sundown Dec. 9) is right there staring at those of us who celebrate.
If you’re not familiar with the holiday, it is the 8-night Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorating the rededication of the temple in 165 B.C. and the miraculous oil that lasted 8 days (hence the length of the holiday) when it really was meant to last only one. The exact dates of Hannukah change because it is based on the Lunar calendar so sometimes it overlaps Christmas and sometimes it starts a couple days after Thanksgiving. And as for the myriad spellings – it is a phonetic translation of a Hebrew word leaving it open for interpretation.
I don’t know about the other “members of the tribe” out there, but I’m not ready for Chanukah to begin. Haven’t had time to even buy candles to light, let alone think about food, or gifts, or baking or inviting people over.
But, thankfully, my sister-in-law has. And since she is having a group of friends over in a few days, she asked me for some tips on not over-cooking boneless chicken breast and for some new chicken recipes. As I answered her email, I remembered this sweet, savory, tangy, and easy recipe I found years ago in a cookbook called: The Great Hadassah Wizo Cookbook. Hadassah is an international Jewish Women’s philanthropic organization that supports women and children in Israel and around the world. This particular cookbook comes from a group in Edmonton, Canada.
I’ve been cooking this yummy chicken dish since my mother gave me the book over 25 years ago, but I adapted it recently to work with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The original recipe called for bone-in chicken and is called Lemon Glazed Chicken. It is wonderful made with bone-in, but if you are in a rush or serving a crowd on a buffet, boneless chicken is so convenient.
- 1 cup apricot-pineapple preserves
- 1/3 cup dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. grated lemon rind
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 lemon sliced
- 8 – 10 boneless skinless chicken breasts halves or an equivalent amt. of thighs
Cut your boneless skinless breasts or thighs into appropriate individual serving size pieces and arrange in the baking dish. Combine preserves, mustard, lemon rind, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and heat on medium to combine. If you are baking the chicken right away, pour the sauce over the chicken in the baking dish. Then lay a lemon slice on each piece of chicken or just evenly over the whole baking dish. Cook at 375 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered. Or 325 convection for 40 minutes or 350 convection for 30 minutes. If you are not cooking the chicken immediately after preparing the sauce, you can refrigerate the sauce or you can pour it over the chicken and then refrigerate the whole baking dish until you are ready to cook. Be sure to let it sit out of the fridge for 15 – 30 minutes before you put it in the oven, if you can.
If you prepare this with bone-in chicken pieces instead, double the cooking time and add the lemon slices halfway through the cooking process.
Whether you celebrate Hannukah or not, give this dish a try. It’s tasty, easy, and always enjoyed by everyone in the crowd from young children to adults.