This Parsha opens with the mitzvah of Bikurim (bringing the first fruits to the Kohen/priest)
(Devarim 26:2) you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you will bring from your land, which the Lord, your God, is giving you. And you shall put them into a basket and go to the place which the Lord, your God, will choose to have His Name dwell there.
Then in Pasuk 11 it says:
Then, you shall rejoice with all the good that the Lord, your God, has granted you and your household you, the Levite, and the stranger who is among you.
There’s an important concept here – Hakarat Hatov – acknowledging good. Rabbi Yissocher Frand quotes a Medrash from Bereishit that draws an equivalency between ingratitude and ‘kefira b’Ikar’ – a ‘fundmanetal theological denial of the Almighty.’ He tells us that the person who is lacks gratitude towards other humans will ultimately lack gratitude toward God. “One who is an ingrate to his boss, his friends, his spouse, his parents, and his neighbor will eventually come to deny the favors of the Almighty,” Rabbi Frand writes.
Gratitude is what we learn from the joy that we are instructed to experience when bringing the first fruits to the Kohen. I’ve been doing so many dessert recipes that I decided to use fruit in a different way this week. So for this week’s recipe I’ve got Moroccan spicy chicken with fruit – apricots and prunes.
I was always grossed out by the idea of chicken with fruit. YUCK. But my taste buds must have grown up, because I found this dish to be scrumptious. Especially eaten with the fruit!
Spicy Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Prunes
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2/3 cup pitted prune
- 2/3 cup dried apricot, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved
- Combine ingredients in a casserole dish or pan.
- Mix it all up so the chicken is covered. Chill overnight.
- Bake chicken, uncovered, in 400 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink. You can broil it for five minutes to make it brown.
B’tayavon and have a great Shabbos!