The Only Chicken and Onion Recipe You Will Ever Need

The story behind this insanely good chicken recipe is one of those could only happen in Israel kind of things… except it happened in Mexico.

Let me explain, a little over a week ago, while my husband and I were in Cancun for winter break, we took a catamaran cruise to one of the Islands off the coast called Isla Mujeres. Like most of these day trips for tourists, theres an “authentic” Mexican all you can eat buffet included in the price, which we were never able to participate in due to our kosher restrictions. I was obviously a little bummed about not being able to try all this great food throughout the trip, but we moved on and packed our tuna packets and granola bars.

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As soon as we got to the Island, the tour company allotted us about an hour and a half to shop in the main town area before we had to get back on the boat and head to the next destination on the island. We were not down to do the over priced, touristy shopping that we had experienced our whole trip, so we planned just to walk around and find something interesting to do. And boy did we.

Would you believe me if I told you that the first person we saw as we got off the boat on this random Mexican island was this big, grandpa looking middle eastern guy with a giant kippa on his head? No? Well believe it. This guy, who is apparently a taxi driver on this island, comes and grabs my husband and starts speaking to him in spanish and and a bit of broken Hebrew/english. He tells us there’s a synagogue only two blocks away, and that they have kosher food! Not just tuna packets and granola bars, real, hot, kosher food. I was sold.

So we fought our way through the market place and shop owners yelling at us to buy their key chains (no thank you!!!). And there, exactly where grandpa jewish man told us it would be, was a small restaurant with a kosher sign!! My heart skipped a beat as I imagined the food we would get. As we got closer however, it appeared that the restaurant was quite obviously closed. My heart sank. I should have known better. It was past noon on a Friday afternoon no way it would be open.

My husband popped his head in the door, and found one of their employees who told us just to go upstairs and we could find food there. As we walk up the stairs it hits us… There, right in our face was a huge picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Now this was all starting to make a little more sense.

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The synagogue and restaurant Jewish grandpa guy sent us to was really a chabad house, on this random Mexican island on the Caribbean Sea.

Once upstairs, the place was in chaos, cooks running around with raw chicken everywhere. Little children running around. There was tons of Hebrew writings all over the walls, seemingly thank you notes from guests for the hospitality of the chabad house. We finally found someone, seemingly the Rabbi who ran the chabad house, who gave us a menu and told us to sit down. At this point we were in a little bit of a rush to get back to the boat on time but we sat. When he came over to take our order, he said, actually all we have is shabbat food do you want some of that? Starved at this point, I just say sure give us anything you can, but hurry cause we’ve got to go.

We walked out of there  (more like ran to catch our boat) with schnitzel, pargiyot (dark meat chicken cutlets), and rice in hand. I was grateful to have real hot food, but still a little disappointed. I was hoping that Jewish grandpa man was there to send us great food so that I wouldn’t feel so bad about missing out on the Mexican buffet. But hot chicken is better than room temperature tuna so I was fine.

We get on the boat and open up the styrofoam containers they gave us. We started with the schnitzel, it was pretty decent. Freshly fried, not super dry. And went very well with the ketchup I had hoarded in our beach bag when I found some kosher packets. But then we opened the pargiyot. Immediately you’re hit with the smell of garlic and onions, and just home cooked goodness. I am being 100% honest when I tell you this chicken was the best food we had our entire trip hands down. Better than anything we tried at the top of the line kosher grill in town. A bite of the chicken, with the onion, and rice which soaked up all the juices, was HEAVEN. The whole meal was just filled with flavor and was so much better than anything I imagined it would be, and I was once again so grateful for Jewish grandpa taxi man who found us.

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When we got home from our trip, the first thing I knew I had to recreate was this chicken dish. After a little playing around with the recipe, I almost completely nailed it. I say almost because no matter how hard I try, I’ll never really be able to recreate the exact crazy experience that got me to that chicken. Food is a crucial way to bring us back and to tie us to our memories, be it from childhood or a great trip to Mexico. A bite of this chicken, so simple yet so delicious, brings me just that much closer to our day cruising the Caribbean, and an important reminder that Jews are everywhere to help out, even where we least expect them.

So with no further ado, the ONLY chicken and onion recipe you will ever need! 

Spiced Chicken and Onions

Simple easy flavorful chicken inspired by the best dish I had on my recent trip to Mexico! 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Kosher
Keyword: Chicken, Flavorful, Onion, Paprika
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 1kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pack boneless dark meat chicken Sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Spanish/yellow onion sliced made ahead caramelized onions can also be used in place of this
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt to taste about 1 tsp .

Instructions

  • Add chicken, 1 tbs olive oil, and spices together in bowl. Mix until chicken is coated evenly. Marinate for at least 30 min, or longer if desired. This step can be done as early as needed, just leave the chicken in the fridge while it marinates. 
  • Heat pan on medium with remaining olive oil, and begin to soften the onion. Once translucent, add chicken and sauté all together until everything fully cooked (about 7-10 min). Onions should take on the color of the chicken. Dark meat has a lot of leeway with cooking time making it less likely to dry out, so you can leave it in longer if desired to really allow all the flavors to join together, it’s insanely good (another 5 min should do). 
  • Serve over rice or grain of choice and enjoy! 

Easy Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

I have decided that there is absolutely so way to mess up the classic tomato and cheese combo. I’ve been racking my brain for hours (okay really just a few seconds) but still absolutely nothing comes to mind in where tomato and cheese could don’t pair well together. While you may be thinking of pizza or pasta, the most classic pairing I’m dreaming of is tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I honestly don’t think anyone could argue a homier, yummier, more comforting duo than this.

So after an entire week being stuck in bed with an awful sickness and not much of an appetite, you can only guess what first real food I just had to have. Still on the mend, I didn’t go for the full soup and sandwich lunch special, no bowl of tomato soup is complete without at least a bite of bread and cheese. So I topped this creamy goodness with a toasted crostini with cheese, and I. Will. Tell. You. When the bread soaks up the soup and you get a bite of it in the soup with the crispy cheese, there aren’t even words to describe just how amazing it is all together.

As most of the recipes I make, it makes a lot of soup. So this is perfect for a crowd, or to freeze for later. I know I can sleep well tonight knowing that I have two quarts of this liquid gold waiting for me in my freezer for finals week when I know I’m not gonna have it in me to cook but I’ll need to fuel my body with deliciousness.

Easy Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

The only tomato soup recipe you'll ever need. This is a huge batch, and its freezer friendly, so feel free to adjust proportions accordingly to what you need
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Creamy, Dairy, Freezer Friendly, Kosher, Soup, Tomato, Tomato Soup
Servings: 3 quarts
Calories: 1kcal

Ingredients

  • 7 Large Tomatos Halved
  • 1 Head Garlic Halved
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion Diced
  • 1/2 stick Butter
  • 2 sprig Thyme Just the leaves
  • 1 6 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 12 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 stick Butter
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • Heavy Cream
  • Basil for garnish

Instructions

  • Place tomatoes and garlic on a sheet pan, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle kosher salt on top, then roast on 400F for 30 min
  • 15 minutes before the tomatoes are done, melt the butter in a large pot, add onions and sprinkle kosher salt. Begin to soften the onions on medium heat, once translucent, add thyme leaves, lower flame to medium low and cover the pot allowing the onion to caramelize
  • Remove tomatoes and garlic from the oven, remove garlic peel and discard, and add everything to the pot. Stir in tomato paste Allow to simmer together for about 10 minutes until tomatoes have mostly broken down
  • Pour in vegetable stock, add other half stick of butter, sugar, and raise heat and bring to a boil, then lower flame and let simmer on medium-low for 40 minutes.
  • Blend well with an immersion blender or in a stand blender (this step will be easier if the soup is allowed to cool for a bit first, but its not necessary)
  • Pour and stir in heavy cream slowly until desired creaminess is reached (start with half cup and go from there, READ RECIPE NOTE!!) and add salt to taste, simmer for another 10 minutes and serve hot! 

Notes

Only Stir in heavy cream right before serving, if freezing then do not add heavy cream before freezing or saving. When reheating, add in the heavy cream and serve. 
Best served with bread and melted cheese on top, or a grilled cheese sandwich, for ultimate yumminess 

Aloo Gobi Latkes with Tomato Chutney

Happy Chanuka!! Change up your holiday usual this year with these insanely flavorful Aloo Gobi Latkes with Tomato Chutney! Aloo Gobi is a traditional Indian dish made up of potato, cauliflower, onion, and Indian spices. When I visit home in Seattle, my first stop on the way to and from the airport is always our kosher Indian restaurant and Aloo Gobi is my all time favorite thing to get there. When thinking about how I wanted to make Chanuka special this year, this flavor combo immediately came to mind. In one bite when all the flavors come together, you’re transported to another world! Happy Holidays to all!

Aloo Gobi Latkes with Tomato Chutney

Spice up your Chanuka this year with these Indian inspired latkes! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Jewish, Kosher
Keyword: Aloo Gobi, Latke
Servings: 12 Latkes
Calories: 1kcal

Ingredients

Aloo Gobi Latkes

  • 5 Russet Potatos Peeled and Shredded in a medium bowl
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion Sliced large
  • 3 cups Small Cauliflower florets yes you want the whole florets, not riced!!
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs crushed ginger or 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour

Tomato Chutney

  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 tbs chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste

Instructions

Latkes

  • Heat 3 tbs oil in pan, and add spices except salt, heat until fragrant, add ginger and garlic. Add onion and sauté until they begin to soften, 5 min, then add the cauliflower, and sauté until soft, 7 min. 
  • Add sauté mixture into bowl with potato, add eggs, salt, and flour and mix well. 
  • Fry 1/2 cup scoops of the mixture in pan, with pre-heated frying oil of choice, until each side is golden brown, about 2-3 min on each side. 

Tomato Chutney

  • Simmer all ingredients together in a small sauce pan until tomatoes have broken down slightly and a thick sauce forms, about 5 min.
  • Spread chutney on top of latkes and serve!

Notes

While these latkes, or any latkes, are best made fresh, they can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen over night and reheated in an oven uncovered to keep crispy exterior

Pumpkin Spice Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

I might as well let you in on a little secret about me now, I don’t believe in food seasons. (Que gasps now) I don’t think we need to wait until the temperature drops to enjoy a hearty bowl of soup, some winter days I love an ice cold smoothie, and I love pumpkin ALL YEAR ROUND!

Yes I know it grows in the fall and I’m all about eating whats in season, but I am one of those people you will find drinking a pumpkin spice latte, hot, in July. But there happens to be this short amount of time that the whole rest of the world seems to jump on the pumpkin bandwagon and its everywhere. You better believe I take full advantage of it, so every October I find myself asking the same question… How do I fit the most amount of pumpkin into my life while the season still deems it socially acceptable??? 

It’s funny, sometimes I find that my biggest kitchen successes stem from my kitchen failures. I had an idea to make Pumpkin Spice Babka (um yum right??) for shabbos. Out of habit I ended up making a huge double recipe when I meant to make a half recipe, and ended up with way more dough then I knew what to do with. After making three Babkas, I still had over half the dough left and my freezer only has so much space. I quickly thought Pumpkin buns! So I rolled out some of the dough, used the same filling I did for the babka, and popped two trays into the oven.

Well, the babka was a flop. The dough wasn’t right for it, it dried out quickly, and just didn’t look so nice. BUT OH MY GOODNESS THESE PUMPKIN BUNS WERE EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE HOPED FOR AND MORE. The centers are gooey, they’re so flavorful, and just taste like fall. And of course, what would a Pumpkin Bun be without a cream cheese frosting?? Have them for breakfast, have them for dessert, have them all year round! I promise the only regret you’ll have making them is that you didn’t make enough!

And I’ll let you know the best part of them… THEY’RE PARVE!! Even the frosting!

 

Pumpkin Spice Buns with Cream Cheese Frosting

Even the pumpkin spice haters wont be able to get enough of these! 
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free, Dessert, Fall, Kosher, Parve, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Spice
Calories: 1kcal

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 4 1/2 tsp  Yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups  Very Warm Water 110/115 degrees
  • 1 cup  White Sugar
  • 3 Cups then 9 Cups       All Purpose Non Bleached Flour
  • Add more as needed for dough structure
  • 2                                        Large Eggs
  • 1/2 cup  Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • 1                                       15 28 oz can of pureed pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 tsp   Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp  Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Splash of Vanilla

Filling

  • Margarine
  • 1 cup  Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp   Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp  Pumpkin Pie Spice

Frosting

  • 1 cup  Non-dairy Cream Cheese of Choice I used Wayfair and loved it!
  • 1/4 cup  Margarine softened
  • 4 tbs  Powdered Sugar
  • Splash of Vanilla

Instructions

Dough

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Mix together warm water, sugar and yeast, and let sit until bubbly (about 10 min.) Once ready, mix in first 3 cups of flour until spongy. 
  • Add Pumpkin, eggs, oil, and spices and mix until well combined
  • Add remaining flour (adding more if necessary) until the dough forms and is no longer extremely sticky. (A little sticky is okay and will often be fixed in the rising processes but because of the pumpkin this is a naturally sticky dough so don't be discouraged if it needs more flour.
  • Kneed well for 10 minutes until the dough is well formed and springs back after you touch it. Cover and let rise for at least an hour in a warm place.
  • While dough is rising, mix together the Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and Pumpkin Pie Spice and set aside
  • Once risen to about twice its size, punch down, roll out as much of the dough as your table has room for, longer than it is wide and not too thin so it falls apart. You may need to do it in rounds.
  • Take the margarine and rub it all over the dough and spread the brown sugar mixture all over the dough. Roll the dough inwards making a long thick log. 
  • Spread extra filling on the bottom of a well greased 9x13 or 8 or 9 inch round pan
  • Cut the log in about 1 inch slices and place in the greased pan(s) 
  • Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until tops are golden brown 

Frosting

  • While they're baking, mix together non-dairy cream cheese, softened margarine, vanilla, and powdered sugar. 
  • Spread liberally on top right before serving!

Notes

(I'm a big fan of making doughs in one bowl only, to keep the mess as limited as possible. While I prefer to do it by hand, this recipe is mixer friendly as well)
The filling recipe is for about 1/3 of the dough recipe because I froze dough and took it out periodically, double accordingly. 

 

These freeze really really well! Just reheat before serving!

This easy recipe is so delicious and I can’t wait for you to try them and join me on the year round pumpkin brigade!

Love,

Richelle

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Don’t forget to DM me your pics on instagram @cookingnotcleaning

Make a mess with me!

I’m so glad you’re here!

My name’s Richelle, I’m 21 years old, newly married, living in New York City but originally from Seattle, WA.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to cook and bake. I remember distinctly a Succos meal we were hosting at our house when I was about six, I asked my mom if I could make the dessert. She said sure and supervised as I made some concoction of water, flour, and sugar, rolled it out, wrapped it around some chocolate chips (because chocolate makes everything better, am I right?) and sprinkled the top with cinnamon sugar. We popped it in the oven and out came this hard looking wedge of something. BUT I LOVED IT and forced everyone to eat it. From then on I was hooked; I was fascinated that I could take a few ingredients and form it into something (semi edible and) delicious! But don’t worry, I’ve moved on from hard inedible chocolate wedges

So while I’m definitely no professional, and I don’t have quite as much experience as some of you fabulous balabustas out there, what I do have is a passion for flavor, experimenting, and all things food.

Anyone who has seen me in action (especially my husband) can tell you that sometimes (okay most times) my cooking can be an all kitchen event. By the end of the meal, I am usually left with dishes on dishes on dishes. But lets be real, my husband and I are both full time students, many of you are working, parents, just name it! We’re all too busy to spend every single night doing a sink full (okay kitchen full) of dishes. And don’t even get me started on Shabbos!

The goal for this page is as follows:

To bring all of you lovelies great dishes that are

  1. DELICIOUS
  2. Exciting- no more same old same old, we want new!
  3. Easy to make-  you don’t need to be a pro to put great food on the table
  4. Minimal mess- your time is valuable, my time is valuable

So lets stop cleaning and get cooking! 

And be sure to follow along with the day to day messes on instagram @cooking not cleaning

Love,

Richelle