Someone mentioned to me that we don't eat roast chicken by the seder meal. Is this correct? And if so, what is the reason for this injunction?
In the times of the Holy Temple, the Paschal lamb was offered on the afternoon preceding the seder, and then consumed at the Seder. As per biblical directive (Exodus 12:9), the lamb was roasted whole over an open fire. We commemorate the Paschal offering by speaking about it during the Haggadah, and the shank bone on the Seder plate serves as a symbolic reminder of this biblical command that we are unable to observe today, in the absence of a Holy Temple.
We hope and pray that we will soon see the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, at which time we will once again offer the Paschal offering. Until then, though, most communities do not serve roasted meat or poultry at the seder, so that it doesn't appear that we are trying to "replace" the Paschal lamb. Even those who would eat roasted meat or chicken during the meal would not eat an entire roasted lamb or kid.
Meat or poultry roasted in a pan should also be avoided--if it was cooked in its own juices and no other liquid was added.
Click here to find recipes for delicious Passover dishes. Enjoy!
Wishing you a joyous and liberating Passover!
All the best,
Rochel Chein for Chabad.org