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Food

The best Rosh Hashanah recipes from the author of ‘The Jewish Cookbook’

Roast chicken
Roast chicken makes the perfect main dish.
(Evan Sung / Phaidon)

We turned to Leah Koenig, a gifted professional recipe developer, for unique Rosh Hashanah recipes from her new cookbook. She gives us a warming honey-glazed roast chicken main dish and apple schalet, which is similar to kugel. It’s sweet enough to serve as dessert but not so sweet that you can’t have it as a side dish.

Koenig says, “I like to anchor my holiday table with Eastern European/Ashkenazi showstoppers — a really great roast chicken dish and a sturdy and soulful kugel. And then I add brightness and color with a variety of sides, salads, and spreads that highlight the season’s overflowing abundance.” Her two delicious dishes here highlight honey and apples, which deliver the sweetness traditional in high holiday meals to wish everyone a sweet new year.

Roast Chicken With Thyme and Honey

55 minutes. Serves 6.

Roast chicken is one of the most iconic Shabbat dinner dishes, and for good reason. It is quick to prepare, homey and comfortingly delicious. There are infinite ways to dress up plain roast chicken, but cookbook author Leah Koenig’s version in “The Jewish Cookbook” is especially divine. She uses a mix of fresh herbs and aromatic vegetables that soak up the drippings as the bird cooks and caramelizes with its honey glaze.

3 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 small onions, each cut into 8 wedges

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2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
6 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped leaves
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks, patted dry
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey

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1 Heat the oven to 475 degrees.

2 Scatter the parsnips, carrots, onions, garlic and thyme sprigs in the bottom of a large roasting pan or baking dish. Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

3 Lay the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over the chicken, rubbing it in to coat all sides, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes.

4 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey and chopped thyme until combined.

5 Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Brush the chicken evenly with the lemon-honey mixture, then continue cooking until the skin is browned, the juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh registers 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes longer. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

“The Jewish Cookbook’s” apple schalet
Fall apples are delicious in this schalet.
(Evan Sung / Phaidon)

Apple Schalet

1 hour 45 minutes. Serves 8.

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In “The Jewish Cookbook,” Koenig introduces us to schalet. In parts of France and Germany, schalet is an interchangeable name for the Shabbat stew cholent. But the word also refers to a sweetened steamed bread pudding, closely related to kugel. Schalets are often filled with apple or pear and make a warming side dish or dessert. They can also be prepared with softened matzo meal for Passover.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or unsalted butter
2 pounds baking apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
1/3 cup dry white wine
6 large eggs
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound day-old plain challah, crusts removed and cut into 2-inch pieces
½ cup golden or regular raisins

1 Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a large Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot with a lid.

2 Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the apples are very tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

3 Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the challah with enough water to cover. Let sit for a few seconds, then drain and squeeze dry. Add the bread to the egg mixture and stir to combine, then fold in the raisins.

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4 Fold in the cooled apples and transfer the mixture to the prepared Dutch oven. Cover and bake until it is puffed and golden brown, 1 to 1½ hours. Set the Dutch oven on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Recipes adapted from “The Jewish Cookbook” by Leah Koenig


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