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RECIPES FOR ROSH HASHANAH

Recipe: For Rosh Hashanah, roast a plump chicken with fresh fennel and sweet red onions

Roast Chicken with Fennel and Red Onions.
Roast Chicken with Fennel and Red Onions.Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

With the Jewish High Holidays early this year -- Rosh Hashanah starts on the evening of Sept. 6 -- you can take advantage of what's at farm stands or in your farm share box. To garnish this plump roast chicken with something sweet to start the year, instead of dried fruits, turn to sweet red onions. Together with fresh fennel, another vegetable harvested right now, the red onions roast with the bird and the cooking juices give both loads of flavor. Fresh fennel has a mild anise taste and can be shaved thinly and eaten raw in salads or cut into wedges and braised, as it is here. The fronds, or the dill-like tops, are used for garnish. Give wedges of fennel and red onion a good hard sear on both sides to caramelize the sugars. When you take them out of the pan, add garlic, fresh thyme, sumac, a ground berry popular in the Middle East, and the spice blend za'atar. They bloom for a minute in the hot pan. Sumac has a citrus flavor and za'atar usually combines dried oregano and sesame seeds. When both go into the dish, you don't need any other acid except for white wine. A whole roast chicken is festive for Rosh Hashanah, and comforting, too. Cook the bird nestled in the onions and fennel until it is golden with crispy skin. At the end, while the bird rests, reduce the cooking juices until they're a saucy consistency, then arrange everything on a platter, garnish with fresh herbs, and start the year off right.

3tablespoons olive oil
2large bulbs fresh fennel (about 2 pounds), tops removed, bulbs cut into thick wedges
2large red onions, quartered
3cloves garlic, coarsely choped
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1tablespoon sumac
1tablespoon za'atar
½cup white wine
1cup chicken stock
1whole chicken (3 1/4 to 4 pounds), giblets removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees.

2. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the fennel, flat sides down, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until well browned. Turn to another side and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the other sides are well browned. Transfer to a large plate.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan. When it is hot, add the red onions, flat sides down. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned. Turn to another side and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the other sides are well browned. Add to the fennel on the plate.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan with the garlic, thyme, sumac, and za'atar. Cook for 1 minute or until aromatic.

5. Add the white wine and chicken stock. Return the fennel and onions to the pan and bring the liquids to a boil. Remove from the heat.

6. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Nestle the chicken in the vegetables, breast side up.

7. Transfer the pot to the oven. Roast, uncovered, for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and deep into the breast registers 165 degrees.

8. Transfer the chicken only to a large plate or cutting board. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

9. Taking care with the hot pan handles, set the pan over medium-high heat. Let the cooking juices bubble steadily for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they thicken to a saucy consistency.

10. Spoon the vegetables and the sauce on a platter. Place the chicken on the vegetables and garnish with fennel fronds and parsley. Use kitchen shears to cut the chicken into pieces.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 4

With the Jewish High Holidays early this year -- Rosh Hashanah starts on the evening of Sept. 6 -- you can take advantage of what's at farm stands or in your farm share box. To garnish this plump roast chicken with something sweet to start the year, instead of dried fruits, turn to sweet red onions. Together with fresh fennel, another vegetable harvested right now, the red onions roast with the bird and the cooking juices give both loads of flavor. Fresh fennel has a mild anise taste and can be shaved thinly and eaten raw in salads or cut into wedges and braised, as it is here. The fronds, or the dill-like tops, are used for garnish. Give wedges of fennel and red onion a good hard sear on both sides to caramelize the sugars. When you take them out of the pan, add garlic, fresh thyme, sumac, a ground berry popular in the Middle East, and the spice blend za'atar. They bloom for a minute in the hot pan. Sumac has a citrus flavor and za'atar usually combines dried oregano and sesame seeds. When both go into the dish, you don't need any other acid except for white wine. A whole roast chicken is festive for Rosh Hashanah, and comforting, too. Cook the bird nestled in the onions and fennel until it is golden with crispy skin. At the end, while the bird rests, reduce the cooking juices until they're a saucy consistency, then arrange everything on a platter, garnish with fresh herbs, and start the year off right.

3tablespoons olive oil
2large bulbs fresh fennel (about 2 pounds), tops removed, bulbs cut into thick wedges
2large red onions, quartered
3cloves garlic, coarsely choped
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1tablespoon sumac
1tablespoon za'atar
½cup white wine
1cup chicken stock
1whole chicken (3 1/4 to 4 pounds), giblets removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees.

2. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the fennel, flat sides down, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until well browned. Turn to another side and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the other sides are well browned. Transfer to a large plate.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pan. When it is hot, add the red onions, flat sides down. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned. Turn to another side and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the other sides are well browned. Add to the fennel on the plate.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan with the garlic, thyme, sumac, and za'atar. Cook for 1 minute or until aromatic.

5. Add the white wine and chicken stock. Return the fennel and onions to the pan and bring the liquids to a boil. Remove from the heat.

6. Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Nestle the chicken in the vegetables, breast side up.

7. Transfer the pot to the oven. Roast, uncovered, for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and deep into the breast registers 165 degrees.

8. Transfer the chicken only to a large plate or cutting board. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

9. Taking care with the hot pan handles, set the pan over medium-high heat. Let the cooking juices bubble steadily for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they thicken to a saucy consistency.

10. Spoon the vegetables and the sauce on a platter. Place the chicken on the vegetables and garnish with fennel fronds and parsley. Use kitchen shears to cut the chicken into pieces.Karoline Boehm Goodnick