Braised hen with peppers turns Rosh Hashanah right into a Roman vacation

Are you, like me, scratching your head about the place the summer season has gone? Did your Tomato Woman Summer season additionally get thwarted by exorbitant airfare costs? Do you are feeling that Rosh Hashanah, which begins on the night of Sept. 15, has snuck up on you out of nowhere?

Whereas my regular strategy to the Jewish New 12 months is to go large or go residence — suppose brisket or pot roast, alongside the standard hen soup, potato kugel, a grain salad and a decadent dessert or two — this time I’m planning on one thing completely different, one thing that’s inexpensive and cooks in an inexpensive period of time; with easy-to-find elements and never a lot of them, both. Bonus factors if it will possibly transport me with one chew.

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Enter this unassuming braise of hen with roasted peppers from Leah Koenig’s newest cookbook, “Portico: Cooking and Feasting in Rome’s Jewish Kitchen.” Because the title suggests, the recipes hail from the Roman Jewish culinary canon, which is marked by scrappy, humble elements with daring flavors.

Get the recipe: Hen With Peppers

At first look, the dish appears to be like too easy for a celebratory meal, however don’t let it idiot you — these elements come collectively in a flavorful and elegant braise.

You begin by roasting the peppers within the broiler till they’re charred throughout. Then, as soon as the peppers are cool, you slip off their skins, scrape out the seeds, and slice the peppers into lengthy silky strands. (If you happen to’re quick on time, Koenig says you should utilize jarred store-bought peppers, which received’t be fairly as lush, however will nonetheless ship good outcomes.)

Then you definitely transfer on to browning the hen. You’ll most likely want to do that in two batches, even if in case you have a big Dutch oven. (A splatter guard is your pal right here.) As soon as the hen is golden, set it apart and saute half of the roasted pepper strips, some garlic and the optionally available (however advisable) pink pepper flakes.

Just a little wine goes in to deglaze the pan and focus all of the tasty bits earlier than the canned tomatoes are added with a bit salt and pepper. Subsequent, you come the hen to the pot, gently nestling the items within the sauce, cowl the pot and braise all the pieces for 45 minutes. By then, the hen shall be tender and the deeply hued slurry of tomatoes and half-melted peppers will flip shiny and fragrant.

A brief simmer with no lid thickens the sauce only a contact, and that’s it. With a bathe of contemporary basil, the hen and peppers make a putting dish that pairs fantastically with crusty bread for sopping up that velvety sauce.

Whereas Koenig suggests this braise for Shabbat, I feel it makes a super Rosh Hashanah predominant course, particularly as a result of the beginning of the Jewish New 12 months falls on a Friday night this time.

I do know I’m not alone in feeling that it’s troublesome to plan for a vacation meal on the finish of the workweek. However this luscious dish feels particularly doable. In underneath two hours — even much less time when you skip roasting the peppers and go the jarred route — you’ve a festive predominant course, that whereas nontraditional within the context of Rosh Hashanah, will style comforting and acquainted.

My mother likes to say that the way you usher within the new 12 months is the way you’ll spend it, and he or she is likely to be onto one thing. So right here’s hoping that the minimalism and ease of this dish will set the tone for the 12 months to return, bringing with it nourishment and peace.

Get the recipe: Hen With Peppers

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