Whether you’re serving it for the main event, or during chol hamoed, chicken is a versatile and delicious way to feed your family over Passover. We hope these recipes provide some inspiration (but remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated: let the pastured flavor shine through!)
From Chicken and Egg, a delightful new cookbook from Janice Cole, we suggest Lemon Spiked Chicken with Sage, which can be grilled ahead and enjoyed warm or cold at your seder meal.
From the Shanti House Cookbook, we suggest Crispy Chicken Liver Salad with Spinach Leaves and Orange Slices for a filling and refreshing salad — perfect for lunch after a big seder the night before.
And a perennial favorite, Chicken Marabella from the Silver Palate Cookbook, won’t fail to impress your guests (even as you smile at how simple it was to prepare!) Better yet, the sauce will keep it from drying out if the seder is running a little longer than expected…
Finally, don’t forget to render some shmaltz ahead of time — it’s the secret of many a delicious matzah ball, and is delicious spread on matzah with a few thinly sliced radishes and freshly ground black pepper.
Chag sameach and bon apetit!
Lemon Spiked Chicken with Sage
adapted from Janice Cole, Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes
3 lb chicken, cut in eighths
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon coarsly chopped fresh sage, plus 6 sprigs fresh sage
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Drop the chicken pieces in a large resealable plastic bag. Combine all the remaining ingredients, except the fresh sprigs of sage, in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade mixture over the chicken, making sure that all the pieces are fully coated. Marinate 6-8 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.
Preheat the grill to medium and then arrange for indirect heat: For a charcola grill, arrange the coals on one side or around the dges, leaving the center clear. For a two-burner gas grill, turn one side off and for a three-burner gas grill, turn the center burner off.
Place the chicken directly over the heat, cover, anc ook for 8 minutes, turning once. Turn the chicken again and place over the indirect heat. Cover and grill for an additional 40-50 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, turning ever 10 minutes.
Place 1 sage leaf on each piece of chicken and place the remaining sage sprigs over the direct heat during the last 2-4 minutes of grilling time. Grill the sage sprigs until lightly dried and crumbly. Crumble the grilled sage over the chicken before serving, or place the grilled sprigs on the platter with the chicken, letting diners crumble the sage themselves.
Crispy Chicken Liver Salad with Spinach Leaves and Orange Slices
adapted from Ayelet Or, Not by Food Alone: Recipes and Tales from the Shabbat Table at Shanti House
1/2 c. matzah flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon mustard
1 c. matzah meal
2 lbs. cooked kosher chicken livers
Vegetable oil, for frying
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 lb baby spinach leaves
4 oranges, peeled, divided into slices and membranes removed
1 small Bermuda onion, sliced in thin rings
1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 c. olive oil
3-4 tablespoons date honey
Prepare Liver: Mix together matzah flour and a bit of salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and mustard. In a third bowl, place matzah meal. Dredge chicken livers in matzah flour, then shake off the excess. Dip coated livers in egg mixture, then in matzah meal. In a medium frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken livers and fry on all sides until golden. Remove from pan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Prepare salad: Drizzle a bit of vinegar on warm chicken livers. Add spinach, oranges, onion and walnuts. Season with oil, remaining vinegar, salt, date honey and mix gently. Transfer to a large dish, drizzle with honey, and serve.
Silver Palate Cookbook
2 quartered Sara’s Spring Chickens
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp dried oregano
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley or cilantro, finely chopped
In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with the pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest point, yield clear yellow juice (not pink).
With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Add some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Serve remaining juice in a gravy boat.
3/4 cup water
1 pound chicken fat/skin, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot over a low heat. The fat will begin to melt almost immediately. Stir it occasionally for approximately 20 minutes, as the fat continues to melt and the water evaporates. Simmer on low flame for 1-3 hours. The onion will brown and the skin will become brown and crisp. Remove these cracklings with a slotted spoon. This is the gribenes. The melted fat is the schmaltz.
Use the schmaltz in place of oil in chopped liver or kugel. Add salt and pepper to the gribenes. They can be eaten out of hand, like popcorn. Gribenes can be added to chopped liver, used like croutons in salads, or enjoyed with your favorite dipping sauce!