Published March 28, 2013 - Last Updated January 22, 2021
Photo credit: Nuno Correia
The Passover Potluck is a unique annual online event. I’ve invited my friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to share recipes that are kosher for Passover. My goals are simple– to foster mutual understanding between different cultures, to introduce you to my foodie friends, and to share yummy recipes and cooking ideas for Passover! To learn more about the Passover holiday, click here.
Passover Potluck 2013 is generously sponsored by Idaho Potatoes.
We’re in the middle of Passover week, and if you’re like me, you’re itching to get a little creative with your weeknight cooking. Leave it to David Leite, author of The New Portuguese Table and publisher of Leite’s Culinaria, to spice up our regular roast chicken with a fabulous homemade Amped-Up Red Pepper Paste. It’s sort of like a Portuguese version of harissa. The red wine and smoked paprika make it truly special. Smother a roast chicken and potatoes with this stuff, and holy moly, that’s dinner! Who says Portuguese and Passover don’t mix? I have the utmost respect for David’s well tested recipes and witty, intelligent writing. Be sure to head over to Leite’s Culinaria when you’re done checking out this recipe for more spectacular ideas. ~ Tori
You’re probably wondering: What’s a nice goyem boy doing in a Jewish place like this? And that’s understandable. After all, I’m a first-and-a-half generation Portuguese American (Poppa Leite is from The Azores, Portugal, and Momma Leite was born in the States to two Portuguese emigrants.) Because of the surprising social similarities between Jewish and Portuguese cultures, I have been named an Honorary Jew by my circle of Jewish friends. That meant I was invited to a goodly number of Passover Seders. And being the youngest at the table, I always got to ask the Four Questions. But, of course, time marches on and soon my friends’ kids and their families began joining us at the table, and I reluctantly passed the torched.
My late friend Deborah, always told me that it was my duty as an Honorary Jew to have many dishes in my repertoire, including a brisket and a roast chicken. While I’m still working on my brisket, I have the chicken down pat.
This chicken recipe leans upon classic Portuguese flavors, supplied by the Amped-Up Red Pepper Paste (click here for recipe), which my friends call “Portugal in a Jar.” It includes smoked paprika, wine, garlic, tomato paste, parsley, cilantro, and more. It’s rubbed under and over the skin for a deeply colored and flavored bird. Plus the roast potatoes get an extra kick from the paste and the chicken drippings. Oy, it’s a shonda that I can’t have some right this minute.
Tip: to really save time and maximize flavor, prepare the bird the night before and refrigerate it. When you get home from work the next day, toss the potatoes in the paste, and slide the bird and potatoes into the oven.
Recipe courtesy of David Leite, The New Portuguese Table. Clarkson Potter (c) 2009. All Rights Reserved.
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Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...