Neighborhood Eats: Lemon Chicken from Bennies in Englewood

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Lauren Glassberg introduces us to lemon chicken from Bennies in Englewood.

In the latest installment of Neighborhood Eats, we're headed to a Lebanese restaurant in New Jersey that's been in business since 1969.

Bennies has had several locations over the years, but it's been in the Garden State for the past 20 and is currently feeding customers at 54 East Palisades Avenue in Englewood.

And it's Lebanese food with a healthy spin, as the recipes don't use butter and rarely any dairy, and many of the dishes happen to be vegetarian or vegan.

"My grandfather started all the recipes, then my father," Addy Hamade said. "And he passed them onto me, and I said why change it if it works?"

That makes Hamade the third generation to serve Bennies' food. The first restaurant was located in Manhattan, but Addy's dad, Bennie Jr., opened the location in englewood in 1996. He took over eight years ago, continuing to serve Lebanese his grandfather's way.

There's a plenty of salads, and even wraps and pizza, but one of the most popular dishes is the lemon chicken, which actually has no lemon in it.

Vinegar gives the dressing its tang, along with garlic, salt and pepper, and fresh basil. Addy boils chicken, bay leaves, cinnamon and onions, before he cuts it up and dresses it. It's served cold with whatever sides you like, and with so many side options, you may need to return frequently.

Recipe for Bennies' Lemon Chicken:
Boiled Chicken:
1 whole, 3-pound chicken (remove insides)
2 onions, halved
2 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks

Fill very large pot with water, enough to cover the chicken. Add the onions, bay leaves and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 90 minutes. Remove chicken. Let it cook, then chop it up into nice-sized chunks.

3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup red vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh basil

Emulsify oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in blender. Then add the basil and puree again. Toss over the cut-up chicken. Serve cold.
Related Topics:
foodfoodneighborhood eatsEnglewood
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