The best Passover recipes are those where you can’t tell that they are kosher for Passover. The ones that are filling, interesting, and delicious enough to make year round, whether it is Passover or not. This recipe is one of those , and all that it needs is some vegetables, some matzo meal, chicken pieces, and a whole lot of apricot jam. It can be prepared ahead of time and is a major crowd pleaser. This is labor intensive, but it is the best chicken dish you will eat all year. Just be sure to use as wide a variety of root vegetables as you can for the stuffing – fennel, green onions, and even sweet potatoes are great additions.
Apricot Chicken with 10 Vegetable Stuffing
2 lbs. chicken with skin, cut into pieces
2 lbs assorted root vegetables(onions, garlic, zucchini, turnip, rutabaga, leeks, celery root, carrots, and mushrooms – feel free to add and subtract as you see fit), shredded in a food processor or by hand
1/2 lb spinach
2 cups matzoh meal
1/2 cup olive oil
1 carton chicken stock
18 oz. apricot jam
1 handful of mixed sage, thyme, and rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine the shredded veggies and the spinach.
2. Heat the oil over high heat in a large stockpan until the oil ripples.
3. Add the vegetables, and sautee for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are extremely wilted and start to turn golden.
Like this. There will be some caramelization at the bottom of the pan, just expect it.
4. Add the chicken stock a bit at a time, stirring after each addition. The vegetables will absorb the stock. It should take about 3o minutes before all the stock is added.
5. Add the herbs.
6. Add the matzoh meal and the seasonings.
7. Add 1/2 of the jam and incorporate it. At this point, taste the stuffing. It will develop flavors as it cools and cooks a second time, but this is where you should punch up the salt or add some more jam if you think you need it.
8. Take the jam off the stove and let it cool completely in the fridge. It can even be cooled overnight, though an hour or 2 should suffice.
9. Lay your chicken pieces on a tinfoiled baking sheet. They can be touching but not overlapping. Gentry separate the skin from the meat, leaving it attached at one side of the chicken. You may not be able to get a clean break from the skin and the meat, but that’s ok – you only need a little bit of room to do the stuffing. just try to keep the skin attached at one point.
Also preheat your oven to 350F
10. Smush that stuffing in there! Be sure to get it all over the chicken, from tip to tip – your fingers are going to get dirty. Deal with it – it’s so worth it. You really want stuffing in each and every bite.
Don’t be shy – the stuffing is the best part of this dish.
This is what they look like when they are done!
11. Layer the rest of the jam over the chicken. Be sure to distribute it evenly. Pop it in the oven for an hour, or until the thickest piece of the dark meat runs clear when poked with a knife. If the chicken starts to turn to dark on top, just cover it with foil until it finishes baking.
This chicken is worth every second of the food processing, every turn of the spatula, every moment that you have to spend scraping stuffing out from underneath your fingernails. This is extraordinary. The stuffing gets crunchy at the edges and remains soft and pleasantly moist within. It is very rich from the chicken broth and savory from the root vegetables, with a touch of sweetness from the apricot jam. The chicken stays juicy beneath its stuffing sealer, and the skin is caramalized and crisp. This might not be traditional Passover food, but it beats the heck out of gefilte fish.