LIZ: Tsimmes is a sweet Ashkenazi stew in which the ingredients vary depending on family origin and tradition. The dish is often eaten during the Jewish High Holidays to symbolically usher in a sweet new year. This sweet-and-savory chicken tsimmes is an easy dish with a built-in side. The juices of the chicken enhance the flavors of the carrots and prunes. It’s filling when paired with rice or kasha, and it’s colorful and complex enough to serve for the holidays.
3 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon packed grated lemon zest
2 to 2½ pounds chicken pieces, bone-in with skin
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced into halfmoons
1 pound carrots, cut into ½-inch rounds (about 3 cups)
½ pound pitted prunes, coarsely chopped (about 1½ cups)
½ cup water
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400oF. In a small bowl, mix together the ginger, honey, 1 tablespoon of the oil, the salt, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest to make a glaze. Set aside.
2. In a heavy-bottomed oven-safe skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down, and sear the pieces for 5 to 7 minutes until brown. Transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl, generously coat with the glaze, and set aside.
3. Add the onion to the pan and cook until it softens and becomes aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and prunes and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the carrots are just beginning to soften, adding a pinch or two more salt and red pepper flakes. Add the water to the skillet, scraping up the bits of carrot, onion, and prune that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken, skin side up, on top of the tsimmes, drizzling any glaze in the bowl over the chicken.
4. Place the skillet in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (the safe internal temperature for chicken is 165oF), its skin is crispy and browned, and the sauce looks thick and bubbly.
5. Serve the chicken with tsimmes and kasha or rice. Spoon over any pan juices and garnish with parsley.
Excerpted from the book THE GEFILTE MANIFESTO by Jeffrey Yoskowitz & Liz Alpern. Copyright © 2016 by Gefilte Manifesto LLC. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Lauren Volo.
Photo credits: ©: Chris Pople (creative commons)