The Taste Of Independence: Jaffa Chicken Bar-B-Q

— by Ronit Treatman

On May 14th, sixty five years ago, David Ben-Gurion declared Israel’s independence and “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.” Yom Ha’atzmaut, as it is known in Hebrew, is a national holiday in Israel. It is celebrated with the recitation of Hallel, a military parade, the International Bible contest, and the awarding of the Israel Prize. The day is concluded with a festive mangal (bar-b-q) and fireworks.

For this special day, I like to prepare a chicken recipe inspired by some of Israel’s first chefs. It takes a staple of the Jewish kitchen, the chicken, and marries it with Israel’s local flavors of Jaffa oranges, olive oil, and Middle Eastern spices.

Full recipe after the jump.
Jaffa Chicken Bar-B-Q

For the marinade:

  • 2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice (Jaffa or Valencia)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon baharat
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Mix all the ingredients above in a large bowl. Place three pounds of cut-up chicken in the marinade. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.  
  2. Grill slowly over charcoal, at medium heat.
  3. Serve with pita bread, hummus, tahini, Israeli salad, and pickles.