About the Recipe
Quajados (kuajados) are such a popular Passover dish made with a combination of vegetables, ground beef or chicken and eggs baked into a kind of gratin or frittata. The Judeo-Spanish name for this emblematic dish cooked by the Jews of medieval Spain is derived from the Spanish word aquajados meaning coagulated or curdled referring to the eggs.
For Pesach my favourite is the chicken matza bake with scallions (spring onions), and loads of fragrant parsley and fresh dill.
This year I am sharing this classic dish with a twist for a more aromatic version with warming spices that is so tasty.
Traditionally quajado is served warm or at room temperature with hard-boiled eggs huevos haminados and a tangy green salad. I hope you give this a try it’s a wonderful dish to make anytime of the year. As we say in Ladino, Kome kon gana, enjoy!!!
For roasting the chicken: 1 kg (21⁄4 lb) chicken, cut into portions
11⁄2 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground coriander salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 tbsp olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks I celery stick, cut into chunks I large onion, thickly sliced 1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally 3 sprigs fresh thyme 2 bay leaves
For the bake: 3 tbsp olive oil 3⁄4 cup finely chopped scallions (spring onions) 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 11⁄2 cups hot chicken stock, including reserved roasting juices 3 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, use leaves and tender stems
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill 4 sheets matza 8 eggs, lightly beaten salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
In a small bowl mix the spices, salt and pepper and olive oil. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and rub the oil and spice mixture well over the portions.
Arrange the vegetables and herbs in between the chicken portions . Roast for about an hour or until tender and golden and the juices run clear.
Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to rest.
Pour the roasting juices and vegetables from the pan into a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. With the back of a spoon press out as much juice as you can from the vegetables. Skim off and discard any excess fat from the surface of the juices and reserve these juices for the chicken bake.
When the chicken has cooled enough to handle remove the skin and de-bone the chicken. Finely chop the chicken pieces by hand or in a food processor.
For the Bake
Preheat the oven to 190°C (355°F). Oil an ovenproof rectangular dish 33x23cm (13x9in) with 1 tbsp oil and place in the oven until hot.
Heat remaining olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and glaze the spring onions until a little translucent.
In a medium sized bowl combine chopped chicken, scallions, lemon juice, stock and herbs.
Soak the matza in a bowl of boiling water for 1 minute or until semi-soft. Drain in a colander, pressing and squeezing out excess water.
Combine the matza and chicken. Then fold in the beaten eggs, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the heated dish and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and crusty.
To serve: Cut the bake into squares and serve hot or at room temperature with huevos haminados.
Stella’s Hint: * The bake can be made a day ahead. To reheat, warm through in a 190°C (355°F) preheated oven.