This chicken dish for Tu BiShvat is colorful and delicious. The chicken is glazed with harissa paste, fresh ground cumin and date syrup (dates are one of the seven species of Israel traditionally eaten during the holiday!) for a lovely Mediterranean taste.

Harissa, in case you aren’t yet familiar, is a spicy and aromatic chili paste that will liven up your dish, while the blood orange, lemon and apricot give the chicken a refreshing citrus-y flavor. Try serving it with Israeli couscous for a filling mid-winter meal.

Apricot Harissa Chicken With Blood Oranges


  • For the chicken:
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs with skin
  • 4 drumsticks with skin
  • 2 blood oranges, cut into eight circles without seeds
  • 1 lemon, sliced into circles without seeds
  • 4 shallots, cut into halves
  • 4 thyme leaves
  • 2 whole heads garlic, with tops cut off
  • ½ cup dried apricots
  • For searing the chicken:
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons date syrup
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons savory fig vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • For drizzling on chicken before baking:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour olive oil in a skillet pan on medium heat and brown the chicken on both sides.
  4. On a baking sheet, evenly spread the blood oranges and lemon slices. Place the seared chicken on top of the citrus, then spread the shallots, thyme, garlic and apricots between the chicken pieces.
  5. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients and mix well. Spoon sauce on top of each piece of chicken.
  6. Drizzle olive oil and salt over everything.
  7. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, then bake for 20 more minutes.
(Photo: Ruhama Shitrit)