So here’s a question. If the Jews were in such a hurry to get out of Egypt and didn’t have time to let their bread rise, wouldn’t it have been much easier to make tortillas?
Seriously, I’m really trying to figure this out. Take a look at this:
And now look at this:
If you were racing somewhere for the rest of your life and needed to throw everything on your back for the next forty years with kids and donkeys in tow, doesn’t the flexible/easy-to-stuff-in-your knapsack/it’s almost Cinco De Mayo so might as well have one tortilla seem a bit more practical than the never-stays-in-one piece/crumbs everywhere/cardboard-like/constipating inducing Matzah? And while we’re questioning the whole thing…they were supposed to be making bread and just didn’t have time to let it rise, right? I’m no expert baker, but who pokes holes in their bread dough? Where did the holes come in? So I’m calling the bluff on this one and am officially going to the sages to ask for a tortilla exchange. A week of Mexican food sounds sooo much more enticing than a week of…Matzah. Plus, we can consider it a way to bring two cultures together. I’m trying here — work with me.
As you may have guessed by now, next week begins the eight-day holiday of Passover, also known in our family as the eight-day period of time when you can’t eat Girl Scout Cookies and better have a handy supply of prune juice ready. But we have come to accept this quirky foodstuff, and if nothing else, we buy it in bulk because it makes us feel like we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. Guilt. The number one purpose of religion. We recount the story of the exodus from Egypt (or we watch Charlton Heston do it so much better on TV) and, like on every other holiday, we celebrate overcoming our adversity by eating an insane amount of food.
Don’t even ask where the chaos fits in. The whole thing is chaotic. From the prep to the expectation that people are really going to sit through a five-hour dinner and be happy about it, to cleaning out every single breadcrumb in your entire house and car, to the concept of trying to tell your children they can’t have Mac ‘n Cheese for a week — it’s a zoo. Which means that the food better be darn good at a Passover Seder or your doomed. Doomed like Pharaoh. Doomed like Yul Brenner. I love Yul Brenner. Here he is:
So my job is to make sure the food tastes darn good. To overcompensate for the cardboard-like staple by making the main dish the real star. You already have the recipe for Chicken Soup. It’s a must. You also have the recipe for BBQ Brisket. That’ll be served too. So for the trifecta, I’ll go with a simple herb roasted chicken served with hash browned potatoes and a broccoli casser…oops, can’t say it! (Remember, I don’t drive a minivan and I don’t make casseroles.) Instead, I’ll make a broccoli dish that comes in a rectangle.
Roast chicken is easy to prep the day before and you can put it in your oven day-of and leave it alone. This is one of my favorite things to make for any guilt-ridden holiday or when family come to town (also a time that induces guilt but I won’t go there).
Happy Passover to all who celebrate! And lucky you for anyone who can eat their Thin Mints for the next week.
Roast Chicken with Dried Herbs
- One Large Roasting Chicken
- Appx. 2 heaping tablespoons (not that I’m measuring) of the following herbs: Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Sage, Parsley
- Whole Onion
- Few Garlic Cloves (whole)
- Whole Lemon
- Few Carrots
- Kosher salt
- Olive Oil
- Let chicken sit at room temp for appx. 30 minutes prior to cooking.
- Wash and dry chicken.
- Rub olive oil on the inside and outside (under the skin, too).
- Sprinkle generously with Kosher salt and a little pepper.
- Mix up dried herbs in bowl and spread all over chicken…don’t be shy!
- Top with paprika. Lots of paprika.
- Place onion, garlic and entire lemon in cavity.
- Place chicken in a large roasting pan and sprinkle the carrots around the pan (or use other veggies).
- Roast on 425 for appx. 1.5 hours or until juices run clear. *Note* Basting isn’t necessary if you want a nicely browned and crisp chicken.