The only somewhat difficult part is in the last few minutes of cooking, when the heat is turned up to caramelize the vegetables.
The result is moist and flavorful chicken, with wonderfully concentrated flavors of the caramelized vegetables.
I’m sure that once you’ll make this dish, it will become a classic in your kitchen, just as it is for centuries in Sephardic homes.
Please note: no water is added to the pot – this is not a mistake. The chicken and vegetables are slowly cooked/roasted in their own juices, a process which gives them unique and intense flavors.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
4 medium chicken thighs
2 Tbs light olive oil
1 Tbs Salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large celery stalks, cut into large pieces
2 large carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise then into large pieces
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled, cut in half
6-8 grape tomatoes cut in half, or 2 small tomatoes, cut into quarters
1. Wash and pat dry the chicken with paper towels, and season with some of the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy pot with a tight lid, large enough to place all vegetables in one layer. Fry the chicken thighs on medium-high heat until golden on both sides. Transfer to a plate and keep in a warm place.
2. Add the celery, carrots and garlic to the pot and season with the rest of the salt and pepper. Mix gently to coat with the oil and fat from the chicken. Cook for a minute and place the chicken on top, skin side up. Scatter the tomatoes all around. Cover the pot tightly and lower the heat to low. Do not add water.
3. Cook/roast for 45 minutes. Uncover the pot and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until all liquids evaporate, and the vegetables caramelized. Keep an eye on the pot at this stage – you want the vegetables to caramelize, not burn.
Turn the heat off and let sit in the pot for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the caramelized vegtables, and place on a serving plate, caramelized size up. Add the chicken on top and serve.