Chicken and Bucatini Hamin (Cholent)

Nechama Rivlin

4 ½ to 8 ½ hours

4-6 servings

Photography: Dan Peretz, Styling: Nurit Kariv

This riff on Shabbat hamin or cholent is typical of Jerusalem. It uses chicken, which was cheaper in the early days of the state, and slow cooked pasta, which is common in the Sephardic cooking styles that strongly influenced what is now Jewish Jerusalem cuisine.

Ingredients

  • 1 package bucatini
  • 1 cup corn oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into ¼-in / ½-cm pieces
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch / ½-cm pieces
  • 4 chicken quarters split into drumsticks and thighs
  • 12 prunes
  • 2 heads of garlic, split in half crosswise 
  • ½ cup water

Preparation

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for half the cook time that the package calls for. Drain the pasta and put it into a bowl. Add corn oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper and mix well.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Heat up the oil in a large and wide oven-proof pot. Add the potato slices and fry them over medium high heat for about 3 minutes on each side until deep golden brown. Transfer the potatoes to a paper towel-lined plate.
  1. Add the onion into the pot and fry for about 6 minutes, stirring every so often, until golden brown. If the onion starts to burn, reduce the heat to medium. Transfer onto a paper towel-lined plate. 
  1. Place the chicken pieces into the pot and sear for about 6 minutes on each side until golden brown. Transfer the chicken onto a plate. Remove the pot from the heat. 
  1. Line the pot with the potato slices, then layer the onions on top, sprinkle the prunes over the onions and then add ¾ of the bucatini in one layer.
  2. Place the chicken pieces in one layer over the macaroni and season with salt and pepper. Place the cut garlic heads on top of the chicken, cut side down and cover with the remaining bucatini. Add ½ cup of water, place a sheet of parchment paper on top and tuck the edge in so it covers all the contents of the pot. Transfer into the oven and bake for 35 minutes, reduce the temperature to 200°F / 100°C and bake for 8 hours (you can also bake this for 4 hours at 250°F / 120°C). 

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