BY SUSIE FISHBEIN
The Megillah story opens with an opulent feast of the Persian monarch and it ends with a celebration of our miraculous victory. The story is one of covert miracles, in which G-d’s role is hinted to but never stated explicitly. For this reason, we dress up in disguises on Purim, remembering that G-d disguised Himself in the Purim miracle. In this spirit, we celebrate with a feast in which we feature “hidden foods” – dishes that look like one thing on the outside, but like the story of Esther, reveal secrets hidden within. Whether stuffed, rolled or folded inside, such foods are a culinary wink to hidden miracles.
My family’s favorite harkens back to the original Kosher by Design. Wonton Wrapped Chicken is a real crowd pleaser and has graced my Purim seudah for 2 decades. When my kids were younger, I told them that the wontons, folded like little envelopes, symbolized the “lots” that were drawn to determine the date of what was supposed to be the annihilation of our people. The folding was always fun for the whole family and a great reminder that things are deeper than what we see on the surface.
Wonton Wrapped Chicken with Apricot Dipping Sauce
Ingredients (yields 8 servings)
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons dry sherry, sake, or cooking sherry
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound (450g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 cutlets), cut into approximately 32 (1-inch) squares
1 (12oz, 340g) package wonton wrappers
canola oil for frying
Apricot Dipping Sauce
12 oz (340g) apricot preserves
4 teaspoons yellow mustard
4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
Marinate the chicken: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, garlic, cornstarch, sherry, oil, and soy sauce. Mix the chicken squares with the marinade; cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Lay the wonton wrappers in a single layer. Place 1 square of the marinated chicken in the center of the wonton wrapper. Dab a small amount of marinade on each of the corners. Fold the wonton over the chicken by bringing each of the corners to the center of the square, overlapping slightly, like a squared envelope.
Heat the canola oil in a deep fryer or medium pot to 355–375°F (180–190°C). Fry the wontons for about 2 minutes per side, turning once.
Apricot Dipping Sauce: In a small bowl, blend the apricot preserves, mustard, and teriyaki sauce.
Serve wontons on each plate with the dipping sauce.
Note: Wontons may be fully prepared and frozen flat in a single layer and then put in plastic baggies for storage. To reheat, bake at 475°F (245°C) for 10 minutes.
● Reproduced from Kosher By Design by Susie Fishbein, with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications. Photograph by John Uher.