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Tu BiShvat Chicken

January 4, 2023
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In February, Israel celebrates Tu BiShvat, a holiday known as the new year for the fruits of the trees.

Leviticus 19:23–25 prohibits eating fruit from trees during the first three years. In the fourth year, the fruit yield belongs to God. Only from the fifth year is the fruit for the enjoyment of the people. On Tu BiShvat, each tree in the land is considered to have aged one year, thus making it the new year for the fruits of the trees.

It is also an opportunity for joyous celebration. On the eve of Tu BiShvat, families and friends gather around dinner tables groaning with dishes made from the seven species: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (Deut. 8:8).

This savory braised chicken with a hint of sweet is the perfect dish for any Tu BiShvat table, combining two of the species in one pan. Enjoy with cooked wheat or barley to give it an added Tu BiShvat twist.


8 chicken thighs
Salt & cracked black pepper to taste
Olive oil for frying
1 yellow onion, sliced
12 cloves of garlic, crushed
5 carrots, peeled and sliced in rings
½ cup roasted almonds, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup dried apricots, halved
1 cup dates, chopped
2 Tbsp date honey (or regular honey)
3 cups broth or stock of choice
3 cups spinach
*Optional: ½ cup green olives, pitted and sliced


  1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a large pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the oil until slightly smoking. Sear chicken pieces on both sides, making sure the skin is golden brown.
  3. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside. 
  4. Add more oil to the pan, and over medium heat, sauté onions, garlic and almonds until onions are translucent.
  5. Add carrots and cook for 5–10 minutes, until the carrots soften.
  6. Add mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  7. Add the spices and toss until combined with the vegetables.
  8. Add the dried fruits and date honey and pour in the broth or stock.
  9. Stir until combined and bring to a simmer.
  10. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan. (Also add the olives if you choose to use them.)
  11. Cover with the lid and allow to simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes or until the chicken falls off the bone.
  12. Add spinach, stir until combined and cook for a final 5 minutes.
  13. Serve this dish warm over rice or couscous.


Serves 8


Photo Credit: Click on photo to see photo credit

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