On 25 January, Israel celebrated Tu BiShvat, which is a holiday marking the planting and growth of trees. It is customary to eat dried fruit, fresh fruit, and vegetables during this minor holiday in the land of Israel. But where did the custom of eating dried fruit come from? Back in the day, in the diaspora, Jews couldn't buy fresh fruits during this time, so they celebrated Tu Bishvat by eating dried fruits. So, today it has become a tradition for this holiday to eat dried fruit in the celebration meal of Tu Bishvat.
Now it's time to get cooking! Here's a recipe for you to enjoy in honour of Tu Bishvat!
Baked Chicken with Dried Fruit
6 chicken legs separated into thighs and drumsticks
12 pearl onions
6 medium sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into quarters
6 dried figs
12 dried apricots
1/2 cup plum sauce
1/2 cup of soy sauce
3 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. sunflower oil
5 chopped garlic cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbsp. crushed cumin seeds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 cups of red wine
Ground black pepper
1 package of couscous
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
100 gr. roasted walnuts (optional)
1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken, vegetables, and dried fruits. Mix and marinate for about an hour.
2. Heat the oven to 180 C/350 F degrees.
3. Transfer the chicken, fruit, and vegetables to a large baking dish and pour the marinade on top of it.
4. Bake for 45 minutes or until the chicken is brown and shiny. Every 15 minutes, baste the chicken and vegetables with the liquid in the pan to keep the chicken from getting dry.
5. Cook the couscous according to the package instructions. Once cooked, arrange the chicken and vegetables on top of the couscous, pour the remaining sauce over the chicken, garnish with green onions and, if desired, add the walnuts.
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