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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt & pepper, and lay the pieces skin-side up on a large baking sheet lined with foil.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and olive oil. Add more mustard if you want it tangier.
- Pour the honey mustard sauce over chicken: Place the rosemary sprigs, plums, and onion slices in between the pieces of chicken.
- 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.
- 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.