Erev Yom Kippur dinner at my parent’s and grandparent’s house was always a multi-course affair. It was really no different from the festive multi-course meal we had for Rosh Hashana. Since moving to Israel, I realized that these massive meals did not help with the 25 hour fast. In fact, they made it much more difficult. So, we had a two-course meal.
I deboned chicken quarters by removing the the pelvic bone, thigh bone and half of the leg bone. If you buy your meat from a butcher, you can ask them to do this in advance. Otherwise, it is really not that difficult to do. I then stuffed it with a Syrian meat and rice mixture called, Hashu. It is typically used as a filling for kubbeh or lamb shoulder. It has a lovely aroma of allspice and cinnamon with a hint of hot paprika. I used sweet paprika this time, because it is better to have blander food before you fast. It is an easy main course to prepare and would be elegant enough for a dinner party. But, to add a little more elegance to the meal, you could stuff cornish hens.
For those of you who fasted, I hope it was an easy one for you.
4 chicken/thigh quarters, deboned by removing the pelvic bone, thigh bone and 1/2 of the leg bone
2-4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
String to tie chicken
500g (1 pound) lean ground beef
1/3 cup short-grain rice (white or brown)
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup water
Soak rice in cool water, enough to cover, for 30 minutes. Drain.
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well with your hands. Add the meat mixture to a frying pan, add water and start breaking the meat in to small pieces. Cover until the rice is cooked through for approximately 10 minutes. Let cool.
Fill the chicken with approximately 1/4 cup of the meat mixture and fold the chicken meat over the mixture and tie with cooking twine (I used silicone ties) to enclose the stuffing. Put seam side down and drizzle each chicken quarter with pomegranate molasses.
Bake at 180C (350F) for 1 hour.