Who am I calling chicken?

Well, I started cooking — mostly with poultry. If it was on one of the menus and could be made using chicken breasts, I made it.

First was the kishka-stuffed chicken:

Kishka-stuffed chicken

I made it this time with kishka that hadn’t been frozen and stockpiled in my freezer — and I need to remember to make it that way again. The kishka was so pliable I felt like I was using play-dough. It is, as you might surmise, inside every one of those pieces of chicken in the pan. The chicken is coated with apricot jam and cornflake crumbs, and drizzled with honey.

Then came a pot roast — I did say mostly poultry, not entirely:

Pot Roast

This is one of the easiest recipes I have, courtesy of my mother-in-law, courtesy of her sister-in-law (my aunt-in-law?). Coat the cut of beef to be braised with tomato sauce, cranberry sauce (both canned), and onion soup mix.

After that I made the cherry chicken puffs.

Cherry Chicken Puffs

Inside each of these triangle pastries is cubed chicken, canned pitted cherries, and mushrooms. It goes with this spicy cherry sauce:

Spicy Cherry Sauce

And finally, I made half the Sweet and Sour Chicken I need to make. The other half will be made with deboned dark meat chicken, which sadly had not defrosted in time for me to cook. But the rest of it was with white meat, and looks like this:

Sweet and Sour Chicken (white meat)

New innovation for this year: adding pineapple chunks. The sauce is not homemade — I did say I would be efficient (and besides, this dish is getting served at the ribs meal… and while I’d like to have a poultry option for those who won’t eat red meat, I don’t want to steal the attention from the best part of the meal).

Up next: Sweet potatoes!  (And a couple of other things.)

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Menu #5: Friday Night

Appetizer Mini broccoli-salami quiches
Soup Vegetable soup
Salad 1 Chicken salad
Salad 2 Israeli salad
Entree 1 Stuffed cabbage
Entree 2 Cherry chicken puffs
Side 1 Yerushalmi kugel
Side 2 Mashed potato pie
Side 3 Zucchini in tomato sauce

…And we’re almost done! With the menus, at least. The vegetable soup is my own concoction, and to be honest, I never even got around to serving it last year. I had left cooking it for Friday during the actual holiday, since I was cooking it to be eaten on Shabbat, but it didn’t get done in time — and truthfully, no one missed it. But I’d like to make it anyway — it’s a pretty good soup, if I say so myself, and also pretty light — so I’m going to try and start it early and just reheat it a few hours later. Hopefully that will work.

I made the stuffed cabbage last year, and it went over extremely well — and it freezes wonderfully, which is a good thing in my case. The Israeli salad is the only item on any of the menus, in case anyone has noticed, that is getting repeated (but I think I’m allowed one item, right?). Yerushalmi kugel is a noodle pudding made with fine noodles, caramelized sugar, and a lot of pepper. I was lucky enough to find a recipe on the internet somewhere that provides enough of a kick to make me happy but does not set my guests’ mouths on fire. And the mashed potato pie is my lovely mother-in-law’s recipe, to which I added soymilk, which I think makes a huge difference in how light it tastes.

One more to go, and the cooking commences next week!