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Poultry Placeholders

When planning a menu, there are the stars of the show — a big Yom Tov meat, a dressed-up dessert, a 42-braid challah. Then there are the foundational items, like chicken, without which the meal would be lacking. Here are the chicken recipes we make that taste like Yom Tov in our homes!

Chinese Lemon Chicken

I originally created this recipe for Pesach, but my kids ask me to make it every Yom Tov, so it’s become a year-round favorite!


  • oil, for frying
  • 6 chicken breasts, cut into finger-size pieces
  • 1 cup potato starch


  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 3 Tbsp potato starch
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, or 1 cube frozen garlic
  • 12 tsp minced ginger (or more to taste), or 2 cubes frozen ginger
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 24 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp apricot jam

Heat oil in a wok or a deep pot. Dredge each chicken finger in the potato starch and fry in oil until done, about 5–8 minutes, depending on the size of the fingers. Remove and set on a strainer to

let excess oil drip off. (It’s best to fry in batches of 4–6, so as not to lower the temperature of the oil too much.)

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the oil for the sauce. Whisk in the potato starch and mix vigorously. Add the remaining ingredients in quick succession, whisking the entire time, and cook until the mixture is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the chicken nuggets and stir to coat. Heat just until warm.

—Estee Kafra, recipe columnist

Chicken Pastrami Roll-Ups

These are my family’s favorite Yom Tov chicken dish, with sweet ’n sour chicken nuggets coming in a close second (some without sauce, of course!).

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Marinate thinly sliced chicken breasts in Italian dressing. Working with one piece at a time, dip into seasoned bread crumbs and lay a slice of pastrami on top, trimming to fit. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased baking pan. Spray tops with cooking spray, drizzle with a bit of Italian dressing, and bake for 25–35 minutes, or until cooked through.

—Faigy Grossman, recipe columnist

Chicken Cutlets

I serve this chicken as a second main on Yom Tov, as an accompaniment to a heavier main dish. It’s colorful, pretty, and relatively easy to prepare.

In a wide frying pan, sauté 1 or 2 diced onions and 1 diced clove of garlic with 1 or 2 diced red or yellow peppers (or use both colors — it will look prettier). Dice a can of mushrooms and add them to the pan when the onions start to turn golden. After a few minutes, add a few Tbsp white wine, salt, black pepper, and 14 tsp thyme. Sauté a few more minutes, until most of the wine has evaporated.

In a bowl, prepare a mixture of flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge the chicken cutlets thoroughly in this mixture and lay them in a single layer on a pan covered with parchment paper. Spoon the pepper/ mushroom mixture evenly over the cutlets.

Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes at 350°F (175°C). (I find that 32 minutes is the perfect number.)

Note: Make sure not to position the pan too close to the heat source when reheating, so the chicken won’t dry out. If you use a hot plate, you can put it on top of another item to heat up, or put a double layer of parchment paper underneath it.

—Shana Friedman, editor in chief

Festive Apple and Honey Chicken

This recipe is from Teimot, Hebrewlanguage Mishpacha’s food magazine. It looks like a hassle (okay, it is a bit of a hassle; to be honest, my daughter made it, not me, three cheers for teenage daughters who enjoy cooking!), but the final result is both beautiful and really delicious.

  • 2 2-lb (1-kg) whole chickens
  • 14 cup olive oil
  • salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste


  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 12 cup white wine
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • 2 green apples, peeled and coarsely chunked
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 12 cup silan
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 2 bay leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Mix the olive oil with the spices, and rub it all over the chicken.

To make the stuffing: Sauté the onions until golden. Add remaining ingredients and cook until the liquid is almost gone.

Stuff the chickens with the mixture and place in a roasting pan. Place the apples around the chicken.

Mix the remaining topping ingredients and pour around the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Lower oven heat to 350°F (175°C) and cook for an additional hour, basting every so often. Remove the foil, and bake for an additional 15 minutes until golden.

To serve, garnish with additional pomegranate seeds.

—Bassi Gruen, managing editor

Chicken Capons

These are a great fill-in for those meals when meat just won’t do…

  • 8 chicken capons
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • 3 large Vidalia onions, sliced
  • 12 cup olive oil, plus more for sautéing
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 12 cup soy sauce
  • 12 cup olive oil

Place capons in a 9×13-inch (20×30-cm) baking pan. Sprinkle with paprika and garlic powder. Place in oven and broil for 10–12 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and lower oven heat to 350°F (175°C).

Sauté onions in olive oil, mixing occasionally, until caramelized. In a medium-size bowl, mix brown sugar, soy sauce, and 12 cup olive oil. Liberally drizzle mixture over chicken. Spread caramelized onions over chicken. Bake covered for 2 hours. Uncover, and bake for an additional 12 hour at 375°F (175°C).

—Mati Swimer, craft columnist

Onion and Veggie Roast Chicken

It’s so simple, but this is what I make every week: Slice 4–6 onions, depending on size, and place at the bottom of a roasting pan. (I like to use peeled cipollini onions because they get so soft and melty.) You can add cut squash, sweet potato, and fennel, if you like. Place the chicken on top of the onions and vegetables, and season with Dijon mustard, maple syrup or honey, Tamari or soy sauce, and salt. Cover and let it cook on low for a long time at 225°F (105°C). Uncover the pan and raise oven heat to 425°F (220°C). Cook for a few more minutes to let it crisp up.

—Rivki Rabinowitz, editor, Family Room

Stuffed Chicken

This recipe is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The best part is that you prepare it and freeze it raw. Then you bake it straight from the freezer, removing as many portions as you need at the time. That’s the kuntz of a good recipe — not much work, basic ingredients, yet amazing end results.

  • 8 fresh chicken bottoms or 16 thighs
  • 12 cup oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 12 cup water
  • 13 cup flour
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder and paprika, for sprinkling

Clean chicken. Wash and pat dry. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and sauté over medium heat until golden brown. If using garlic, add 5 minutes before the end. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Add water and flour to make a stuffing consistency. Adjust quantities if necessary. Add salt and pepper and mix well.

Place a heaping tablespoon of stuffing under the skin of each piece of chicken and place in a large roasting pan (or two). Sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika or spices of your choice. Cover and place in freezer until ready to bake. When you bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C). Place frozen chicken in the oven, very well covered (I do a double layer of aluminum foil or a layer of parchment paper and a layer of aluminum foil tightly sealed) and bake for 4 hours.

—Brynie Greisman, recipe columnist

My Family’s Favorite Chicken

It’s not “healthy,” but it’s healthIER than thealternative, so I feel less bad making it every Shabbos and also picking from the pan in the kitchen before I serve it! The chicken is moist and delicious and good for a night or day meal. Serve alongside a Caesar salad.

  • 1 chicken, cut into tenths (or all thighs, drumsticks, or breast… whatever your family likes to eat)
  • 2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 5 cups panko crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease an oven-to-table baking dish. (This is important because you’re going to want to eat all those crunchy bits from the pan. So oven-to-table is key!)

In a bowl, combine mayo and hot sauce. In a second bowl, place the panko crumbs.

Dip each piece of chicken in the mayo mixture and coat fully. Then dip in bread crumbs. Each piece of chicken should be fully coated. Place in baking dish.

Spray a large piece of foil with nonstick spray and cover the baking dish tightly. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Note: Reheat uncovered to maintain crispness or serve room temperature.

Variation: You can use dark or white meat cutlets for this and just adjust the cooking time. Place cutlets on a well-greased metal baking sheet. For white meat, bake 35 minutes. For dark meat, bake 45 minutes.

—Danielle Renov, recipe contributor

Fennel and Shallot Chicken

Chicken plays a very important role in my Yom Tov menu planning. I’m actually the pickiest meat eater in my house, and I don’t like some of the cuts my family is the most excited about. Chicken is the solution! When I want to make a meat recipe that my family loves and I don’t, I always pair it with a chicken option that I’m excited about. Here’s my personal favorite.

  • 4–6 chicken quarters, with skin
  • 6 shallots
  • 2 fennel bulbs, tops and outer layer removed
  • 8 cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 tsp lemon pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley or fresh parsley, chopped
  • 34 cup dry white wine (chardonnay)

Peel shallots and cut in thin wedges. Discard fennel tops and outer layer and cut in thin wedges. Place shallots, fennel, and garlic cloves in a pan. Season with 1 tsp lemon pepper and 12 tsp salt. Arrange chicken on top and season with remaining spices and parsley. Allow to marinate in spices for 3 hours or longer.

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Pour wine over chicken and bake covered for 1 hour, then uncovered for an additional hour, basting every half hour. Bake longer if you’d like a darker outcome.

—Rorie Weisberg, health columnist

Sticky Chicken

One of my family’s favorite, no-fail recipes is Sticky Chicken. It’s such a hit that we decided to include it in The Bais Yaakov Cookbook vol. 1 — check out the recipe there.

—Rivky Kleiman, recipe columnist

Batter-Dipped Chicken

I often make chicken capons stuffed with spinach and rice, which I submitted to What’s Cooking a few years ago.

Otherwise it’s chicken pastrami roll-ups, or this batter-dipped chicken. The frying is a hassle, but my kids love it! (Credit for this recipe goes to my sister Tamar.)

  • 2 lbs (1 kg) chicken breast, cut into strips

Mix together:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs

Dip chicken strips into the batter, then fry in hot oil.

For the sauce, mix the following in a saucepan and bring to a boil:

  • 12 cup ketchup
  • 14 cup vinegar
  • 34 cup cold water
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 114 cups sugar
  • 12 cup brown sugar

Serve alongside the chicken.

—Nina Feiner, sales manager

Chicken Paprikash-ish

I prefer to have all my food prepared before Shabbos or Yom Tov so I can go into Yom Tov calmly. Except for my Chicken Paprikash-ish (the extra “ish” isn’t an error; I just have zero Hungarian blood in me so I don’t want angry letters that my recipe doesn’t fit the bill). It’s so unfancy and easy to do, but it tastes so much better fresh, and if there happen to be leftovers, they taste even better.

  • 1 onion, diced
  • oil, for sautéing
  • 1 cup chunked red and green peppers
  • 1 pkg chicken bottoms (or all drumsticks or all thighs)
  • paprika, to taste
  • frozen garlic cubes, to taste
  • 2 cups large chunks of Yukon gold or red potatoes with skin on
  • salt, to taste

Sauté onion in oil and add peppers in a large pot for about 5 minutes. Add chicken and sprinkle with paprika, lots of it. Add garlic cubes (I use 4). Cook for half an hour over a low-medium flame. Add potatoes and salt. Cover pot and cook on low for about an hour or until chicken is ready.

—Chaia Frishman, columnist

Fire Poppers

We started making these one year when my kids dressed up as fi remen for Purim — we gave out fire poppers on a bed of rice along with a little water bottle (I got the idea from my friend Nomi Mocton). After that, I started making them for Shabbos every so often as a special treat. The recipe is from The Bais Yaakov Cookbook. Here it is with my tweaks.

Mix 12 cup flour, 2 Tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp baking powder, and 12 cup water in a bowl. Cut 112 pounds boneless chicken into small pieces, coat in batter, and fry. Put fried pieces in pan lined with paper towels so they drain a little.

Meanwhile, mix 12 cup each brown sugar, hot sauce (I use Frank’s), and honey. Remove paper towels from the pan of chicken. Pour sauce on top of chicken and mix. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes. If I’m serving this on Friday night, I make extra sauce to pour over it when I take it out of the oven (I keep the sauce in a pot on the blech, so it’s hot). I usually end up making 2 pounds of chicken — 112 pounds of poppers and the last 12 pound without the sauce for my kids who don’t enjoy spicy food.

And if you don’t like frying, you can egg and bread cutlets with bread crumbs and bake, and then serve with the same sauce.

—Rachel Bachrach, associate editor

Pandemic “Kitchen Sink” Chicken

For the second days of Pesach, with minimal shopping because of the pandemic and living out of town, I was down to really random ingredients. That was the inspiration for this dish — which turned out to be a hit. I’ve made it since, leaving out the brown sugar, skipping the wine, skipping the vinegar, skipping the tomatoes, using only chicken broth, yellow onions instead of red… It’s very forgiving. So let your fridge and cabinets be your guide!

  • oil
  • chicken legs
  • paprika
  • red onion, sliced
  • grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • red wine vinegar
  • red wine
  • chicken broth
  • cilantro cubes
  • brown sugar

Heat oil until medium-hot in a large saucepan or pot.

Season chicken legs (skin on) with paprika and heat for a few minutes on both sides until browned and lightly cooked, with a crispy crust on the skin. (Work in batches if needed.) Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Add onion slices and tomatoes to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until onions look cooked but not burned. Add a splash of red wine vinegar, about 12 cup red wine (depending on how much you need for Kiddush!), 12 cup chicken broth, and 1–2 cilantro cubes. (Use more liquid if you have a lot of chicken.) Cook until somewhat reduced, scraping the bottom of the pan. (How long is totally up to you!)

Dust a little brown sugar on the skin of each chicken (just for a little touch of sweetness). Pour sauce with onions and tomatoes over chicken in the pan and bake uncovered until fully cooked, about an hour.

—Shira Isenberg, columnist

Pineapple Chicken

I adapted this from a Susie Fishbein recipe for turkey roast. I had a hard time getting the roasts cooked right, and I wanted more pineapple and color, so I used it for chicken, tweaked it, and everyone was very happy.

  • 3 lbs chicken pieces
  • 1 pkg pastrami
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (or more, if needed, to cover bottom of saucepan)
  • 12 tsp turmeric
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, and parsley, to taste
  • 2 15-oz (425-g) cans pineapple chunks, juice included

For each piece of chicken, take a piece of pastrami and slide it between the skin and the meat as best you can, trying to keep it covered by the skin. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, swirling in the turmeric when it’s hot. Brown the chicken pieces in the oil for a couple of minutes on each side, sprinkling it with the other spices to taste. Remove to a baking sheet when done.

Add the pineapple, along with the juice, to the same saucepan, and simmer another 5–10 minutes until the pineapple begins to turn amber. Pour it over the chicken. Bake for at least an hour (I often let it go an hour and a half) until chicken is tender and the pineapple starts to caramelize.

—Barbara Bensoussan, columnist

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