Food & Drink

East Brunswick: Passover Chicken That May Finally Convince Elijah to Join Your Seder

Roast it on a low temperature forever.  A delicious no-brainer.  Now go hang out with your family!

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Passover Seder is one of my favorite meals to make.  Okay, sometimes the ceremony is a bit long.  It's not really appetizing to talk about "murrain" or boils or even frogs during dinner. That jelly around the gefilte fish in the jar isn't really a turn-on, either.  But the fact that people stay at the table together for four hours sometimes is unheard of at any other family celebration. I think that the whole purpose of reading the story of the Exodus is to make us happy and grateful about being where we are.  No football, no big gifts (except for that illusive Afikomen,) and lots of good stuff to eat. So?  What's not to love, really?

The Seder comes with lots of rules, though, and, as with most things Jewish, the rules are based on tradition.  Don't mess around with tradition, even in your otherwise-not-very-observant home.  In our house at TAP Central here in East Brunswick, obeying the rules is part of the fun and honor of Passover, where we also enjoy the fun and honor of Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, and Rosh Hashanah.  Go figure.  It's 2016.

Here's a chicken recipe that never fails to please guests for this or any holiday.  I use Empire Kosher chicken (two whole ones, cut into pieces) which are good quality, if a bit salty.  Extra-virgin olive oil is Kosher enough even for Passover, and the rest of the ingredients are fresh and contain no grains.  The key to this dish is that it is, as we say in my family, prepared "Florentine."

Sign Up for E-News

Among the members of my family, "Florentine" does not refer to anything prepared in the style of Florence, Italy or made with spinach.  It refers to my grandmother-in-law's practice of putting meat or even fish into the oven at a low temperature for several years until it is so moist and tender, even schnurrers give it praise.  Her name was Florence Pressman, and i honor her every time I cook "Florentine."  Here goes:

  • Remove chicken from packages, wash, and trim.  Take off any obvious fat and about 1/2 of the skin, leaving some on for flavor.  I use a pair of kitchen scissors.
  • Place chicken skin-side up in your baking pan(s) and drizzle with a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil, which is Kosher for Passover by its very nature!
  • Add generous amounts of snipped fresh herbs.  I used basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme.  Sprnkle generously also with salt and pepper.
  • Peel and smash at least 6 cloves of garlic with the back of your knife.  Toss into the chicken.
  • Add 2-3 fresh or dry bay leaves.
  • Make sure that the chicken is coated with herbs and oil.
  • Roast skin-up at 300 degrees for three hours in a roasting pan covered with foil.
  • Before serving, take off the foil and place under the broiler for a few minutes so that the skin can crisp a bit.
  • Keep warm until serving.
  • I serve this with roasted red peppers, roasted asparagus with lemon, oilve oil, and dill, and some roasted tiny white potatoes with olive oil and garlic.


Of course, there's all that chopped liver, haroset, matzoh ball soup, and macaroons to round out this meal.  Exact measurements of ingredients?  Never heard of 'em.  Eat.  Enjoy.  Be glad that people are at your table today and any day.  Good Pesach, Bears.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

East Brunswick's Ethan Reiss Saves the History of Who We Are

July 15, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - To some people, lists of names and pictures of locations just create a jumble of information and a confusing mass of facts.  To Ethan Reiss, a historian from East Brunswick who is working to keep facts alive, these bits and pieces come together to form a picture of who we are based on who we were in the past.

Reiss, the administrator of the popular "You Know ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 16, 2018


TRENTON, NJ – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in New Jersey, leading to chronic lung disease, heart disease, stroke and cancer,” said New ...

Learn How to “Ace The Interview” at the East Brunswick Public Library

EAST BRUNSWICK—Looking for a new job? East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is here to help. The library offers a special program called “Acing the Interview” on Saturday, July 21 at 10:30 am, which is designed to help jobseekers.

“Acing the Interview” focuses on what many feel is the most stressful part of the job search process: the ...

Learn About Food Preservation at the East Brunswick Public Library

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library and the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission are presenting the special program “Food Preservation 101” at the library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) on Wednesday, August 1 at 7:00 pm.

“Food Preservation 101” covers the basics of food preservation. The program is led by Shailja Mathur and ...

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts "An Olde-Time Summer Band Concert"

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is more than just books. On Sunday, July 15 at 2:00 pm, the library hosts a special concert featuring the Central Jersey Wind Ensemble.

Titled “An Old Time Summer Band Concert,” the concert is a sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The Central Jersey Wind Ensemble will perform a variety of ...

East Brunswick Public Library Hosts Special Health Day

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and East Brunswick Public Library are teaming up to host a special evening of health programs at the library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) on Wednesday, July 11.

Horizon will be providing blood pressure and blood sugar screenings in the library from 7:00 to 8:00 pm.

The program “Brain Games – Keep ...

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)


If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

The Anatomy of Escape by Mike Blue

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure by Mike Blue (Available on Amazon)


Imagine that you could just say, “Chuck it,” and walk away from the bonds that keep you tied to what Mike Blue, author of The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, defines as the restrictive Work-Consume-Die cycle. To most of us, becoming what Blue terms “a ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...