What makes a Shabbat meal? To me it is not the chicken soup or the brisket or whatever traditional food your mother or your grandmother may have served; it is the act of setting aside the time, carving space for you and those you care about to share a meal and experience the beauty of Shabbat together.
Lighting the candles, blessing the children and saying the prayers over the wine and the bread all make us slow down, appreciate the moment and what we have been given, and help nourish the soul as the food does the body.
Many of my Shabbat meals focus on the foods of Jews across the world, but one my family enjoys is very American: barbecued chicken with grilled vegetables. The recipe is doubled, so leftovers can be used for a Shabbat lunch of barbecued chicken salad.
Use any prepared or homemade barbecue sauce for these recipes. We like a smoky hot one.
Barbecued Chicken with Grilled Vegetables
Makes 8 servings
2 cups olive oil, plus extra
1 cup lemon juice
1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
1⁄2 tsp. salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 cup minced yellow onion
1⁄4 cup prepared barbecue sauce, plus extra
7 to 8 lbs. chicken parts on the bone
1 small red onion
8 medium zucchinis
8 large tomatoes
4 red bell peppers
Mix 2 cups olive oil, juice, pepper, salt, garlic, onion and 1⁄4 cup barbecue sauce. Set about 1⁄3 cup of mixture aside and use the rest to marinate the chicken pieces for
20 minutes to an hour.
Cut the red onion horizontally into slices about 1⁄2-inch thick. Halve zucchinis lengthwise, slice tomatoes in half. Core and seed bell peppers and slice in half. Brush cut surface of vegetables with olive oil.
Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat (option:â€ˆchicken can be broiled and vegetables oven-roasted). Grill chicken and vegetables until done, turning occasionally. Baste chicken occasionally with reserved 1⁄3 cup marinade. When the chicken is about cooked through, lower grill heat (or move chicken off to the side, away from coals) and brush with barbecue sauce. Flip and brush other side. Continue grilling the chicken until it is just cooked. (The chicken should feel firm to the touch but still have some resiliency.)
Let rest for 10 minutes so juices are reabsorbed. (The chicken will keep cooking as it rests.) If making the Barbecued Chicken Salad, reserve half the chicken and half the vegetables. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.
Barbecued Chicken Salad
Makes 4 servings
1⁄2 cup oil olive
1⁄4 cup white wine vinegar
2 to 3 Tbs. prepared barbecue sauce
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. pepper
1⁄8 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
grilled vegetables (half of the above recipe)
gilled chicken (half of the above recipe)
1 lb. mixed salad greens
2 cups raw vegetables such as carrots, green onions, cucumbers, radishes, etc.
Whisk together oil, vinegar, barbecue sauce, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Taste. Adjust seasonings as needed. Chop grilled vegetables into 1⁄2-inch pieces. Remove skin and bones and shred chicken. Tear salad greens into bite-size pieces. Slice or chop raw vegetables as desired. Mix chicken, vegetables and greens in large bowl. Toss with dressing or serve with dressing on the side. Do not assemble or mix with salad dressing until just before ready to serve.
Faith Kramer is a Bay area food writer. Her columns alternate with those of Louise Fiszer. She blogs her food at www.clickblogappetit.blogspot.com. Contact her at [email protected]