Matzo Meal Chicken

This was one of my favorite dishes my mom made when I was a kid. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t tweak it! I added sesame seeds to the matzo meal and used olive oil spray instead of drizzling margarine on the chicken as she did. This recipe calls for boneless, skinless breasts, but you can make it with a cut-up  chicken as my mom did. It will just take longer to cook.

Preheat oven to 375◦

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 eggs

2/3 cup of matzo meal

1/4 cup plus a few spoonfuls sesame seeds

1 Tablespoon garlic salt

several grinds pepper

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Olive oil spray

Combine dry ingredients in a shallow bowl

Beat the eggs well in a small bowl

Line a jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with sides) with foil. Place a rectangular rack (such as a cookie cooling rack) in it (it should just fit). Spray it with nonstick spray.

Rinse the chicken breasts and trim any excess fat.

Dip each breast in the egg

and then roll it in the matzo meal-sesame mixture until it is well coated.

(You may have to wash your hands a few times in between chicken pieces; this gets messy!)

Spray one side with olive oil spray, and then place that side down on the oiled rack. Spray the other side with the olive oil spray. Repeat for all breasts, spacing them so there is some room between them.

Bake in the oven until browned, about 1/2 an hour, then flip over. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of sesame seeds on top if some of the coating has fallen off, and bake until the other side is browned.

Hanukkah Latkes (potato pancakes)

On Hanukkah, Jews light a menorah for 8 nights and eat foods fried in oil to celebrate the miracle of the oil in the holy lamp lasting for 8 days. Some eat doughnuts, but I prefer latkes, fried potato pancakes. This is my mother’s recipe, but I added the onion on my friend Vivian’s suggestion.

Serves 4

4 cups raw grated Russet potatoes. Use 4 large or 5 medium

1 onion, grated

4 large eggs

2 Tb matzo meal

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups canola oil per frying pan

Peel potatoes and soak in water until ready to grate. Grate by hand or in a food processor. Place in a colander so that potatoes can drain their water, until rest of ingredients are mixed and oil is hot. Wrap the grated potatoes and onions in 3 layers of cheesecloth and tie the corners around a wooden spoon. Twist the bundle tightly to release the moisture.

Beat eggs well and add matzo meal and salt. Add drained potatoes and onions and stir well. You can add the potato starch at the bottom of the bowl of drained potato water.

Pour oil into a heavy frying pan, such as cast iron and put on medium high heat until it reaches 375′ (Keep oil between 365′ and 375′ during the frying process.)

Using a large slotted serving spoon and a large solid serving spoon, mold a spoonful of batter on the slotted spoon, squeezing down with the solid spoon. You will need to squeeze more water out of the potatoes toward the end of the frying. Gently place the latke in the hot oil.

Fry until golden brown, then flip over using the slotted spoon. Don’t crowd the pan, usually 3 or 4  latkes are good for a 9” pan. When latkes are golden brown on both sides, lift each one with the slotted spoon and let the oil drain back into the pan.

Place them on a rack over a cookie sheet. Put the rack in a low oven, about 275’. This will help the oil drain from the latkes and keep them warm and crispy until all the latkes are ready to serve.

Serve with applesauce. (Some people eat them with sour cream, but not in our family.)

Happy Hanukkah!