I priced brisket for my Seder last week, and I must admit I was a bit floored by the prices. When you host a big family Seder like I do, you need a lot of brisket. I’ve been known to cook up to 7 large briskets to feed the crowd. We’re talking hundreds of dollars for one Seder! This year, with the economy sluggish and so many out of work, I wanted to come up with a more economical alternative for the Seder meal. I developed this Honey Garlic Chicken recipe as a less expensive entree option for the Seder. This golden, crispy-skinned chicken with sweet, rich honey sauce will add a delicious flavor and aroma to the Passover table.
While brisket is the “norm” for most Jewish holiday celebrations, chicken can be a great alternative. It’s easy to cook, economical, and pretty much everybody likes it (except for vegetarians!). Since most of us serve matzo ball soup at the Seder, I wanted to give this chicken a different flavor… something to set it apart from the savory chicken broth. I went in the direction of sweet, choosing a honey-based marinade with a little Meyer lemon juice and lots of fresh garlic mixed in. The combination of garlic and honey is absolutely mouthwatering. For this recipe, I like using whole leg and thigh pieces. Dark meat has more flavor, and it cooks up so juicy with this marinade. If you’ve got breast meat fans in the crowd, bone-in breasts will work great too. Don’t use boneless skinless here, the bone-in meat cooks up much more flavorful. I like to put the chicken pieces on a pretty platter in the center of the table, then guests can choose which cut of meat they like best. You can garnish the plate with some fresh parsley or greens for a prettier presentation. I had planned to do that here, but in all honesty I’m fighting a raging cold at the moment… I’m lucky I had the energy to take a picture at all!
Serve the chicken with a drizzle of thick, rich honey sauce (recipe below). Even if you don’t make it for the Seder, this Honey Garlic Chicken is easy enough to make any night during the week of Passover. It would also be a great option for Rosh Hashanah, when sweet foods signify a sweet new year. Enjoy!
Here’s another money-saving idea– host a vegetarian Seder! Check out two new categories on my website, full of vegetarian Passover options:
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- 3 1/2 - 4 lbs. chicken pieces, bone in, skin on
- 1/3 cup honey, divided
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 heaping tbsp crushed garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh Meyer lemon or lime juice
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
- 2 tsp potato starch
- Salt and pepper
You will also need
- 9x13 baking dish (ceramic or glass), plastic wrap, aluminum foil, saucepan, wire mesh strainer
- In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, 1/4 cup honey, brown sugar, garlic, lemon or lime juice, and cayenne to form a marinade.
- Spray the bottom of a glass or ceramic baking dish with nonstick cooking oil, or brush lightly with olive oil. Place the chicken pieces into the dish, skin side up. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper (if using kosher chicken, salt lightly).
- Pour the marinade evenly over the top of the chicken pieces, brushing them to coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Let the chicken marinate for 2 hours up to overnight.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from the baking dish. Spoon marinade over the top of the chicken, then cover the baking dish with foil. Pierce the edges of the foil a few times to vent.
- Roast the chicken for 1 hour, covered in foil, basting the chicken with marinade and drippings 2 or 3 times while it cooks. Remove foil and continue to roast for 20-30 more minutes till the skin becomes dark brown and crispy. It may blacken a bit in places due to the sugar content of the marinade.
- Transfer cooked chicken pieces to a platter. Carefully tip the baking dish so that the pan drippings and juices gather in one corner. Use a spoon to skim off the clear liquid fat from the top, separating it from the solid drippings. Discard the fat.
- Strain the remaining drippings through a mesh strainer into a small saucepan. Heat the sauce slowly over medium.
- While sauce is heating, in a small bowl stir together 2 tsp potato starch and ¼ cup cold water till dissolved. Add the starch mixture to the pan drippings, along with 1 tbsp honey and ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth. Stir the sauce over medium heat till it thickens and bubbles around the edges. If sauce is too thick, add more water or chicken broth. If the sauce is too thin, let it simmer till it thickens to desired consistency. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the chicken pieces drizzled with warm honey sauce.
Other Great Recipe Ideas
(Not necessarily Passover-friendly, but good eating nonetheless!)
Cookin’ Canuck – Grilled Chicken Thighs with Tamarind and Orange Glaze
Simply Recipes – Cardamom Honey Chicken
The Beeroness – Stout Jerk Chicken
In Erika’s Kitchen – Fruity Braised Chicken Thighs