One-pot silan chicken shown on top of garlic mashed potatoes. (Photo/Faith Kramer)
One-pot silan chicken shown on top of garlic mashed potatoes. (Photo/Faith Kramer)

Make it a ‘date’ night with tangy, one-pot chicken coated with silan honey syrup

Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

This One-Pot Silan Chicken combines many of the Mizrahi and Sephardic flavors I love. The thick, slightly tangy silan sauce tastes almost caramelized with the punch of lemon juice, spices and fresh herbs as it coats chickpeas, carrots and tender pieces of chicken.

Silan is also called date honey, date syrup or date molasses. Aleppo and Urfa chili flakes are milder and tangier than traditional red chili flakes. Substitute half the amount if you use red chili flakes.

The silan and chili flakes are available in kosher, Middle Eastern, spice, specialty and online stores.

Make both dishes ahead and refrigerate for up to three days. Reheat in a microwave or covered pot on medium heat, adding water by the tablespoon as needed.

Serve the chicken over pasta, couscous, rice or garlic mashed potatoes (recipe below).


One-Pot Silan Chicken

Serves 4-6

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • ¼ cup silan
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup carrot slices (¼ inch)
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste, divided
  • ¾ tsp. salt, plus as needed
  • ½ tsp. crumbled dried mint leaves
  • ½ tsp. Aleppo or Urfa chili flakes
  • ½ tsp. ground sumac or 1 tsp. minced lemon zest
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice plus as needed
  • ¾ cup chopped parsley, divided
  • ¾ cup chopped mint, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided

Heat oil in large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add silan. Bring to simmer. Adjust heat and simmer until reduced by half, 3-5 minutes. Stir in boiling water. Return to simmer, stirring occasionally.

Stir in onions, carrots and garlic. Return to simmer. Stir in 1 Tbs. tomato paste, salt, dried mint, chili flakes, sumac and pepper. Bring back to simmer. Add chicken pieces and stir to coat. Return to simmer. Cover, stirring occasionally, until chicken is almost cooked through (10-15 minutes).

Stir in chickpeas and remaining tomato paste. Simmer until chicken is cooked and sauce is thick but pourable. If sauce is thin, simmer uncovered.

Stir in juice, ½ cup parsley, ½ cup mint and ½ cup green onions. Taste. Add juice and or salt as needed. Garnish with remaining parsley, mint and green onions.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4-6

  • 2½ lbs. peeled or scrubbed Yukon gold potatoes, quartered (see notes)
  • ¾ tsp. salt, divided, plus as needed
  • ¼ cup garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. Aleppo or Urfa chili flakes

Add ¼ tsp. salt and garlic to large pot of water. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover. Simmer until potatoes are done (fork will slide through), 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and garlic, reserving ¾ cup of the cooking liquid.

Remove any detached potato skins and mash potatoes and garlic in one of the methods below.

  1. Place in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher or sturdy fork until as mashed as you like. (I prefer lumpy.) Mash garlic cloves separately if necessary and mix in. Drizzle in ¼ cup reserved cooking liquid while mashing.
  2. Use a potato ricer and press into large bowl. Stir in ¼ cup cooking liquid.
  3. Use a food mill and process into large bowl. Stir in ¼ cup cooking liquid.

Next, stir in oil, black pepper and chili flakes. Stir in additional cooking liquid by Tbs. until the potatoes are as thick or creamy as desired. Taste. Add salt and or chili flakes as needed.

Notes: Scrub the potatoes if using a food mill or if you like peel-on, hand-mashed potatoes. Use peeled potatoes in ricer.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is faithkramer.com. Contact her at [email protected].