This recipe was created by my mother-in-law. It is actually quite simple, with few ingredients and a lot of crispy, juicy deliciousness. I make this chicken dish every Friday night so in my house, we call it, ‘Shabbos Chicken’. I had a housekeeper who thought that this was the traditional chicken dish made in every Jewish household on Friday nights, until she consulted with a friend of hers who helps her family makes schnitzel every Friday night. This recipe is a much healthier alternative to schnitzel, to say the least. Because I serve this dish on Friday nights when I have a good chance of actually getting chicken into my kids’ stomachs, I splurge on using all Organic ingredients. I use organic onions, potatoes, carrots and tomatoes (the only other ingredients in this recipe). I buy the whole organic Empire Kosher chickens from Trader Joe’s because they have them at a very reasonable price and are consistent in their pricing, freshness and quality. But any whole chicken can be used for this recipe. Using the whole chicken has many advantages, first, its very economical, second, it gives you much more meat and third, the flavors and juices are enhanced when the bones are intact. So, here’s the Raff Family Shabbos Chicken Recipe.
Shabbos Chicken Recipe
1 whole 3-4 lb Kosher chicken
1 large onion
1 large carrot
1 large tomato
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
Pereg grilled chicken spice (or your own mixture of paprika, garlic & onion powder)
Sea Salt & Pepper
Using your Food Processor or a hand grater, grate 1 onion and 1 large carrot. Place the grated vegetables around the inside edges of a large roasting pan, this is the stainless steel pan I use. The Food Processor that I use to grate the vegetables with (and use all day long, for baking, cooking, grating and all my dips) is this Braun Multiquick 3.
Next, again using your Food Processor or grater, grate 1 tomato and add 1 teaspoon of brown gravy powder to the tomato mixture (the gravy powder is optional, on Passover I don’t have the powder and it tastes just as good). Set the tomato mixture aside for later.
Using a kitchen scissor like this one, clean the excess fat and skin off of the chicken. I like to use these kitchen shears to snip off the extra skin and fat – the skin that’s not covering meat that falls over and the extra fat all around. This makes the chicken less fatty and healthier. I like to cut off the ends (the tush & neck) because they are full of fat and no-one in my house eats them, but you can leave them on if you like them. After cleaning the chicken, rinse it off all around in cool water, pat dry.
Sprinkle the chicken lightly with sea salt all around on both sides. I use sea salt because it is not only healthier but I find it brings out a much nicer flavor in everything I make. I buy my Sea Salt in bulk, on Amazon using my Amazon Prime account for convenience and price since most of the sea salt in Health Food Stores are over-priced. This is the Kosher brand of Sea Salt I get from Amazon. Sprinkle the chicken with a dash of black pepper as well.
Next, season the chicken generously with Pereg Mixed Spices for Grilled Chicken spice mix. This is not a promotional post for Pereg, it happens to just be a great spice mixture for this chicken. You can make it yourself since its a simple mixture of Paprika, Garlic, Onion and Salt. Gives a great flavor and color to the chicken. I cover the entire chicken on both sides with this spice mixture. (i don’t see this spice on Amazon, I checked, but it can be found in most Kosher grocery stores).
Place clean and spiced chicken into the roasting pan, breast side up, with the grated onion/carrot mixture around it. You will now bake the chicken at 350 for 2 hours alternating sides and covering it and uncovering it. Its this alteration of covering, uncovering, turning, uncovering and covering that keeps it crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Here’s how I do it:
- bake in the oven covered for 30 minutes.
- uncover the chicken and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes.
- after the first hour its half done. Now, take the roasting pan out of the oven, remove the chicken and add the tomato mixture to the carrot/onions on the bottom of the pan. Add the cut potatoes to the sides of the pan. Turn the chicken over and place it back into the roasting pan. If you started with breast side up, you will now place the breast side down (this keeps the white meat juicy). Put roasting pan back in the oven uncovered for another 30 – 40 minutes.
- finally, cover it again and cook it covered for the remaining 30 minutes. I usually make it about 3 hours before Shabbos starts and then keep it covered on warm (about 250 degrees) until I’m ready to serve it. To serve, remove the chicken from the pan, slice off desired pieces (at this point its very tender so slices very easily) and serve with sauce and potatoes on top of the chicken. It is so delicious. Enjoy!
One final tip: I often prepare the chicken in the morning when my kids are in school and leave it ready to go in the refrigerator until about 3 hours before Shabbos at which time I place it in the oven to cook. I also set my timer so that I know when to take the top off, turn the chicken and put the top back on.
For more Shabbat Recipes, like Challah, visit here.
Here are some of the kitchen tools I use for this recipe