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Passover Oven Dilemma

Every year, I face the same challenge when it comes to having company for holiday dinners. I only have a single oven and I make a lot of food! (This will, however, be changing in the late Spring as we will be moving into a house with a double wall oven -- hooray!).

Anyway, I definitely have brisket on the menu. I make it the day before in a Le Creuset dutch oven, so that needs to be heated up in the oven on the day of the dinner. I also make another main course, such as a chicken dish, mostly because I am Jewish and if I don't have enough food for double the amount of my guests, I feel like there will not be enough to eat.

Here's my dilemma...if I have the brisket in the oven, I can't fit another big dish in there to cook chicken.

So I'm thinking that these are my options:

1) On the day of the dinner, cook chicken in the oven and heat the brisket in the Le Creuset on the stove top (I've never done this before -- is this even a good idea?)

2) Cook a chicken dish on the stove top while the brisket heats in the oven.

If I go with option #2, I was thinking about making this simple recipe from Patricia Wells Bistro Cooking.


Or, I could do a stovetop braise of chicken, but I don't have any ideas for a specific recipe.

Sorry for the long post, but if anyone has any suggestions for any easy, delicious stovetop chicken recipes (or any other suggestions in general regarding the logistics), I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks...

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  1. I make my brisket a day before, refrigerate overnight, then slice and reheat in the gravy on the stovetop. Works perfectly ever time. My problem is running out of burners what with the soup and sides.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockycat

      When I had my cooktop disaster on New Year's Eve I went to Target and bought a single European style burner for $19.99. Brand was Aroma electric portable range. So now I have my 5 burner top back but also a handy little burner I can sit on a counter top as a 6th. It ispretty powerful so I'm keeping it around.

      Le Creuset works beautifully on a cooktop.

    2. I use my crockpot for the brisket. Frees up the oven and always comes out tender.

      1. Valerie,
        We have a single oven, albeit fairly roomy. My suggestion would be to make the brisket a day or two ahead of time, chill it, remove the fat and slice it into a microwaveable pyrex baking pan with the gravy all around. On the day of the seder, cook the chicken in the afternoon in the oven, cut up, etc. and arrange for serving in your dutch oven.
        When the seder starts, either put both pans in the oven for warming up, or microwave the brisket to hot when you serve the soup course. (If you use your microwave on Pesach). I think the brisket would stand up better to nuking.
        Generally, I find the last few hours erev Pesach to be crazy busy, and the more that can be cooked ahead of time, the better. Generally, once we start the seder, all I have to do is leave the table to start to steam the asparagus at the right time. I would hate to be in the kitchen managing stove-top cooking once the seder started.
        Good luck,

        1. Thanks for your replies. As I said, I do make the brisket a day (or maybe even 2 days) before, chill, etc. And I'm definitely trying to keep things simple. (In addition to working full time, I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old -- why am I making a seder?!?)

          I have no problem using the microwave, plus I also have a fairly large toaster oven which I will utilize as well for the potato "kugelettes". We don't have a crockpot and even if I were to get one, I don't think I should start experimenting on Passover!

          I can't remember what I did last year, but the year before, I heated my brisket in my neighbor's oven (we live in apartment building and they're not Jewish) and just sent my father to get it right before we sat down for the seder. Now that I think about it, maybe I will just go that route again.

          But any other suggestions would be welcome!

          1. For Thanksgiving, I bought a three tiered rack at Bed Bath & Beyond that was the width of half my oven. I was able to get a lot more into the oven with this contraption. Would this work for your pot distribution?

            1. How about if you borrow/rent/buy a chafing dish to keep the brisket hot? I've got one you can borrow. :)

              1. Again, thanks for the ideas. I had an epiphany last night and what I think that I will do is cook/refrigerate/re-heat my brisket as planned, and then make a chicken dish (Patricia Wells Fricassee of Chicken with White Wine, Capers, Olives) on the stove. I will still have room for the soup on one burner and then I will figure out what to do with the sides between the microwave and toaster oven.

                2 Replies
                1. re: valerie

                  One word of warning: watch your guests. On Thanksgiving, I got a nasty surprise because while my guests kindly offered to bring food, they all decided to bring something that had to be heated in the oven. I did a roast pork loin, then I planned to raise the heat and roast brussels sprouts for about 20 minutes while the roast rested. Well, my aunt decided to make her special dinner rolls, that just needed 20 minutes in the oven at 350, and my mom brought mashed potatoes that just neede to heat up for 20 minutes in the oven, and my sister-in-law brought an artichoke dip that just needed to be heated up in the oven....

                  I scrapped the roast brussels sprouts and with the help of the microwave it ended up fine, but next time I'm going to have to plan how to heat up everyone else's dishes as well!

                  1. re: Nettie

                    I only let them bring dessert!

                2. this is for when you move into your home..i use my grill outside for heating up alot of the dishes..doesnt help you now....sorry

                  1. I struggle with the same dilemma every year as well. I do a stovetop chicken--lately it's been Chicken Pizzuta, which is very tasty and uses matzoh in an inventive way (http://busycooks.about.com/od/wholech... to avoid contention with the oven. I often reheat brisket on stovetop--just put it on a small flame so it doesn't burn. And, in a pinch--the microwave works for the brisket as well.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Marion Morgenthal

                      That recipe sounds very interesting. I can't quite comprehend what the outcome would be like, though.

                      One reason that I like the Patricia Wells Fricassee recipe is that once all of the ingredients are in the pan on the stove, you cover and simmer for 1 hour (plus I love the tomato, olive, caper combination). Then it's done. This way I won't have to stand over the stove tending to the chicken while my guests are already at the table. I'm trying to make this as easy and organized as possible (so why do I keep inviting more people?!?).

                    2. Nu? Do you have a backyard barbecue?

                      With the hood down it's a great holding oven. Start it indoors and move it outside!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mar52

                        We currently live in a NYC apartment, so no backyard barbecue (not even a backyard!).

                        As I said in the original post, we will be moving in the late spring to a house (with a double oven and a lovely backyard) and at the top of the priorities list is a really nice grill.

                      2. We had that dillema over thanksgiving since our Standing Rib Roast took so darn long to cook... we ended up using an electric oven. IT totally saved the day...