The first nine days of the Jewish month of Av are days of acute mourning. The nine days, as they are known in the Jewish calendar are so sad, that Jewish people historically have refrained from eating meat (or chicken) and drinking wine during this time. These nine days lead us into the height of our mourning with a fast day on the ninth of Av, which commemorates the destruction of the second temple, by the Romans, in 70 CE.
If this tragedy happened thousands of years ago, why do we not eat meat or wine during these days? The reason is that eating meat and wine has traditionally always been done on days of Jewish celebrations. As the old saying goes, "every Jewish holiday is the same - they came to kill us, we won, let's eat!" in this case however we did not win, and the temple still lays in ruins in Jerusalem till this day. To still feel the pain of that on going tragedy, we don't eat meat and wine, which signify happiness and success. We hope and pray that the third and final temple be built in Jerusalem very soon.
Some recipes to guide you through: