Passover Palate: Leftover Charoset? Try This Chicken Recipe

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chicken dish
(Photo by Emanuelle Lee)

By Emanuelle Lee / The Nosher via JTA

Charoset is one of the most important food components of the Passover seder. Its intense sweetness symbolizes the optimism in contrast to the bitter maror and salty water, which remind us of our ancestors’ suffering.

Every family has its own special haroset recipe, and each year my mother makes ours, which is passed down from my grandmother. Our family recipe includes dates, sweet kiddush wine and lots of cinnamon. It’s delicious and I always spend the majority of my seder making matzoh and charoset sandwiches.


Still, there is always a big tub left over, and no one ever really thinks to use it once the seders have passed.

This year, I’ll be using our leftover charoset to make this chicken recipe. The beauty of this dish is that it works no matter what type of charoset your family makes. The sweetness from the charoset creates an addictive caramelized effect on the chicken.

Chicken with Thyme

Serves 4

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half widthwise
  • 2 large red onions, finely sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup leftover charoset
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¾ cups water
  • Olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Place the garlic and sliced onions in a medium-sized roasting dish. Dot the lemon rounds around the dish and sprinkle with the thyme. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.

In a separate mixing bowl, toss the chicken pieces with the charoset and add the lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix well, allowing the mixture to get under the chicken skin.

Place the chicken pieces in the roasting dish, along with the garlic, onions, lemon and thyme. Pour water in the bottom of the roasting dish and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and continue cooking another 15 minutes. The chicken should be caramelized and crisp, and the onions should be softened.

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