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The Labradoodle of Fruit

In the New York Times last week, food writer Melissa Clark presented a perfect-for-Rosh-Hashonah chicken recipe that includes honey and plums. As she puts it, “If there’s ever been a year in need of sweetening, it’s this one.”

The only problem is, I didn’t really like the recipe itself – the fennel and allspice didn’t work for me at all. So instead, I’m offering my own adaptation of her recipe, using a honey-mustard sauce.

What, you might ask, does all this have to do with labradoodles? Well, when I went to Trader Joe’s (God bless their senior hour) to get ingredients, there were no plums. But they had something called “plumcots.” When I got home and did scientific research that was rigorous enough to meet the approval of Dr. Fauci himself, I learned that the plumcot is a hybrid of a plum and apricot. Then there’s the “pluot,” a second-generation hybrid, meaning that one of the parents is a plumcot. Just like designer dogs. Confusing and, in fact, irrelevant and possibly even totally uninteresting to you, but there you have it. And now I’ll give you my hybrid, labradoodle recipe:

Janice’s Honey Mustard Plum Chicken for Rosh Hashonah

(or any other time)


  • 8 chicken thighs (or legs), skin on, bone in
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs rosemary (optional)
  • 8 (or so) ripe, plums, plumcots, or a combination, pitted and cut into 3/4-inch thick slices
  • 1-2 red onions, peeled and sliced from root to stem in 1/2-inch wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Sprinkle chicken  on both sides with salt & pepper, and lay the pieces skin-side up on a large baking sheet lined with foil.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and olive oil. Add more mustard if you want it tangier.
  4. Pour the honey mustard sauce over chicken:  Place the rosemary sprigs, plums, and onion slices in between the pieces of chicken.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the thighs read 175°F  on a meat thermometer, or the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a knife.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven. If the top of the chicken isn’t brown enough, put it under the broiler briefly.

Place everything on a platter, and prepare yourself for great praise and jubilation.

L’shanah Tovah. Let’s pray for a year filled with sweetness. We could all use it.