Speaking of Traditions: Bubbe's Allspice Chicken
Why I Love This Recipe
There is an old recipe I came across earlier this year. It was hiding in plain sight, on the inside of the cover, in a really old/loved cookbook. This recipe book, that I boroughed from my mom, was published by a group of women in our Temples Sisterhood. In this book are most of my favorite traditional recipes that we use for everything from Hanukkah to Passover. I have the same cookbook in my collection, it had been my bubbe's copy. I don't know why I borrowed this same book from my mom, but I am so glad I did. In the inside of the ripped, torn, stained cover that is held together with a rubber band, I found riches for my soul. In lovely old fashioned hand writing was my Bubbe's chicken with allspice recipe. It was stained with age and wrinkled and torn, but too me it was like finding home again.
I grew up in two homes. One with my mom and dad and my brother Josh, full of gourmet food and toys, games and books. The other home was in my grandparent’s house across town. This home was full of traditions, books, movies, video games like Where in the World is Carmen Santiago and The Oregon Trail. Bubbe and Grandpa’s home wasn't filled with toys, just a few favorite oldies (like my old jumpy horse and fake sink with plastic pretend dishes to wash) but there were so many things to do at this house other than play.
Bubbe was always teaching me to sew, and cook and bake. I learned that 1 bottle of grape jelly and 1 bottle of ketchup could make awesome Swedish meatball sauce! They had a huge bolder in the back yard to climb on and watch grampa water the basil growing in huge barrels. There was always something new and awesome to do or learn.
They say that home is where you are loved and where you feel safe and where your heart is. Well, my heart has always been in my Bubbe and Grampa's home in Sanibel and in West Lafayette. I find myself visiting those wonderful old days in my dreams all the time. Finding this recipe is also like finding my way back home again. The funny thing is... I never liked this chicken as a child.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 large onion, sliced
3 carrots, quartered
2 potatoes, quartered
3 to 4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon paprika
2 garlic cloves or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon whole allspice
In a large pan sauté 1 large onion in some oil until onions are soft and beginning to brown. Remove onions from the pan temporarily. Make a paste of oil, garlic (cut up 2 cloves or use 1/2 teaspoon powdered), paprika and salt. Dip pieces of chicken in this mixture. You can if desired marinate the chicken in the paprika and garlic. Add about 1 teaspoon of whole allspice (this is very important). Sauté the chicken until a nice color (no longer pale) about 1/2 hour. Quarter potatoes and cut up carrots, add the onions back into the pan. Cover. Cook covered about 1/2 hour or until the chicken's internal temperature hits 165˚. (This recipe can be changed for the amount of chicken or if you make thighs or drumsticks. Please check the temperature at the half way point and at 15 minutes of the remaining 1/2 hour. Enjoy!