The Passover Sedar is an untapped resource for cooking inspiration. On a single plate, you've got charoset (a nutty, sweat apple mixture); parsley (to be dipped in salty "tears"); and of course, a giant chunk of horseradish. Ingredients which not only represent the hardship of the Israelites way long ago, but also a group of flavors which expertly compliment and balance each other.
While most Sedar guests nervously nibble at the bitter horseradish root, I found from early on that I actually liked the taste. I enjoyed the spark it sent up my sinuses. And I loved how it played with the other sweet and salty foods.
So for this horseradish challenge, I thought why reinvent the Torah? And instead of trying to come up with a new horseradish flavor combination of my own, I took my cues from the burning bush and stuffed the most outstanding Sedar savories into one juicy piece of chicken.
In a food processor or blender, mix the horseradish, parsley, garlic, water, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Blend until all the ingredients are well combined and a creamy paste forms. Quick warning: be aware that the horseradish can sting your eyes much like the "fumes" from an onion, so blend and smell with caution! Set the horseradish paste aside.
Then, with your hands, loosen the chicken skin from the meat on all four pieces - try to get all the way down the bottom of the leg bone. Place them in an oven-safe baking dish and then begin stuffing the chicken with the horseradish paste, using your hands to push the paste in the space you created between skin and meat. Wash your hands.
Finally, rub the olive oil all over the outer skin of the chicken.
Put the chicken into the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the skin has puffed up, and has become crispy and golden brown.
In January of 2004, I received a diagnosis that changed my life. I was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease that in my case attacked my kidneys and brain. Due to the intensity of the initial “flare up” of the disease, I became renal insufficient and eventually faced kidney failure. Amazingly, through great medicine, wonderful family and friends, and an enormous amount of support, I became stronger and healthier and miraculously, my kidneys partially regenerated. I no longer depend on dialysis and by regulating my diet, I depend on fewer medications. Five years later, I work part time and live a full and utterly enjoyable life. My dietary restrictions have transformed into a real passion for food and I hope to be able to pass along my favorite finds to others facing similar dietary challenges. Be creative, be friendly, and be full!