Barbara Fradkin is a retired psychologist and the author of the terrific Inspector Green series, featuring a quixotic, exasperating Ottawa Police inspector with a passion for justice and a love of the hunt. Her novels have twice won the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis award for Best Novel. Please join us in welcoming Barbara back to Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen with one of Inspector Green’s recipes for a warm family celebration.
Rosh Hashanah with Inspector Green
On top of all the back-to-work and school activities, September is a busy month for Jewish holidays. Some are solemn, others lively, but food is always centre stage. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts the ten-day period of penitence and self-appraisal with a feast of sweet festive foods reflecting the wish for abundance, good health, and a sweet year to come.
Because crime doesn’t take time off, Inspector Michael Green, head of Major Case Investigations for the Ottawa Police, faces a constant fight to juggle work and family life, holidays and obligations. But now that he finds himself the unlikely father of two (soon to be three), he is trying to foster family traditions and values that will carry them into the future. As the only child of fearful Holocaust survivors, he had very little heritage to build on, but he has taken the traditional foods – roast chicken, honey, raisins and almonds – to create his own version of the sweet festive dish. His busy wife Sharon is happy that it makes minimal mess, is almost impossible to ruin, and can be mastered by a husband with little culinary talent or time.
The recipe below feeds his family of four, but can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled… You get the idea. Like any good hand-me-down recipe, the amounts are approximate; you can substitute a “pinch” or “handful” if you prefer!
Inspector Green’s more-or-less foolproof Honey Orange Chicken
Four to six chicken breasts, bone and skin on
1 to 1 ½ cups orange juice
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. ginger
½ cup raisins
¼ cup sliced almonds
½ cup thin slices of orange or mandarin orange
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts skin side up on a flat cooking sheet or shallow pan. Lining it with aluminum foil will save clean-up aggravation. Rub the skin with raw garlic, half the ginger, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a glass bowl, whisk together the orange juice, oil, honey, cornstarch and 1 tsp. ginger (plus salt and pepper if desired). Microwave until mixture just thickens, stirring frequently.
Remove chicken, baste with drippings, and sprinkle with raisins, almonds, and orange slices. Pour the sauce evenly over top and return to oven for about 30 – 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
To maintain the traditional touch, serve this with potato or noodle kugel, carrot tsimmis, and greens
Enjoy! But make sure you save some time to read.
Barbara’s latest (and ninth) book, The Whisper of Legends, finds the very urban detective searching the northern wilderness for his missing daughter.
The tenth in the series, None So Blind, is in the works. Find out more about Barbara and her terrific books at www.barbarafradkin.com You can order The Whisper of Legends through your favorite bookstore or by clicking here. www.tinyurl.com/pqmlyts
Check out the whole series!