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Chicken ‘Levivot’

June 09, 2021
Chicken ‘Levivot’

Afew weeks ago, I had the good fortune of attending an early holiday party at my friends Ron and Leetal Arazi’s Brooklyn home. The Arazis, Israeli natives who run the artisanal Middle Eastern food company NY Shuk, were prepping dishes for a Hanukkah photo shoot and invited friends over to enjoy the feast.

Featured in: A Moroccan Feast for Hanukkah: Hold the Latkes

Great for: Hanukkah

Recipe by: Ron and Leetal Arazi


For the fritters

  • 1whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
  • 2cinnamon sticks
  • 1tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1tablespoon dried sage
  • 3bay leaves
  • 1tablespoon allspice
  • 4tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1large Russet potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1large bunch fresh, flat-leaf parsley, bottom stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1large bunch fresh cilantro, bottom stems removed and finely chopped
  • 5eggs, lightly beaten
  • vegetable oil, for frying

For harissa dip

  • 4tablespoons harissa
  • 3tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2small garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or pushed through a press
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½teaspoon salt
Yield: 20 2-inch fritters


To make the Chicken Levivot

  • Step 1

    Place the chicken, cinnamon sticks, fennel, sage, bay leaves, all spices, and 4 tablespoons salt in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Set mixture over high heat, cover pot, and bring to a boil; lower heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, 45-60 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, add potato pieces to a small saucepan and cover with water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil; cook until potato is very tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, then mash potato with a potato masher; set aside. (This should yield about 1 cup of mashed potatoes.)

  • Step 3

    When the chicken is cooked, remove pot from the heat and let the chicken cool in the broth until it is cool enough to handle. Remove the chicken and transfer to a flat work surface. (If desired, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the spices and keeping the liquid for another use.)

  • Step 4

    Using your fingers, remove meat from the bones and shred finely. (Discard the bones and skin, or reserve for another use.) Mix shredded chicken together with the mashed potato, chopped parsley, chopped cilantro, eggs, and remaining teaspoon of salt.

  • Step 5

    Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.

  • Step 6

    Lightly wet your hands and form patties that are approximately 2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Working in batches, fry the patties, flipping once, until browned and cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. (Add more oil as necessary, and adjust heat if fritters are browning too quickly.) Remove fritters and let drain on paper towels.

  • Step 7

    Make harissa dip: In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, vegetable oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Serve patties warm with harissa sauce on the side for dipping.

  • The fritters can be made ahead and reheated. Once fried, let them cool, then wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 month. To reheat, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the fritters in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet and cook until warmed through, 15-20 minutes.