Next Wednesday, February 8, Tu B’Shevat begins. As we celebrate the fruits and trees of Israel, many families will often serve a new fruit never tried before. (Who knows — maybe it’s a good time to visit one of the big Asian markets in Baltimore.) Try this Israeli Fresh Lemon Chicken dish my family enjoys.
Israeli Fresh Lemon Chicken
2 chickens, cut into eighths, or equivalent of boneless portions
2 onions, cut into large chunks
2 whole lemons
12-16 sprigs fresh oregano
8 cloves fresh garlic, halved
fine sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper, optional
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
1-1/2 cups kalamata olives,
pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, whole, for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken in single layers, skin side up, into two 9×13-inch baking pans. Add the onion chunks. Slice lemons in half lengthwise. Squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken. Cut each lemon half into 4 pieces; add to the chicken. Set aside 4 sprigs of oregano and strip the oregano leaves from the rest. Scatter leaves and stripped sprigs over chicken. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and wine. Toss the mixture together. Sprinkle olives over the chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Transfer to platter and garnish with whole olives and reserved oregano sprigs. Makes 8 servings.