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Shared by Anna Gershenson

Braised Chicken with Onions, Olives, and Prunes

Yield: 8-10 servingsTime: 15 min, plus 1 H inactive

Shared by Anna Gershenson

Chicken braised with prunes, olives, and lemon on white plate with serving spoon
Photographer: Penny De Los Santos. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Braised Chicken with Onions, Olives, and Prunes

Yield: 8-10 servingsTime: 15 min, plus 1 H inactive

Family Journey

Riga, Latvia
Worcester, Massachusetts

When Anna Gershenson was little, her mother Rhoda made a simple chicken with onions, letting the bird cook in its own juices. As a professional cook and culinary educator, Anna has added olives, prunes, and lemon for a dish that’s special enough for Rosh Hashanah, but simple enough to make during the week. 

This recipe was shared by Anna Gershenson. Read more about her family in “The Rosh Hashanah When Anna Gershenson Became the Family Matriarch” and try her recipes for sweet-and-sour tongue, jam crumble bars, and arugula salad with fennel.


  • 4 pounds chicken leg quarters, drumsticks and thighs separated
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large onions, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
  • 2 bay leaves
  • peel of a lemon removed with a vegetable peeler
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup pitted olives, green or Kalamata
  • 10-12 prunes 
  • Parsley for garnish
EasyMain CoursesRosh HashanahShabbatMeat North America


  • Step 1

    Season the chicken with ¾ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. If desired, you can separate chicken drumsticks from thighs.

  • Step 2

    In a large roasting pot or Dutch oven, add the oil then cover the bottom with half of the sliced onions and season them lightly with ½ teaspoon salt. Place all the chicken pieces on top of the onions, then cover them with the remaining onion slices and sprinkle again lightly with ¾ teaspoons salt. Tuck the lemon peel, bay leaves and olives between the chicken pieces.

  • Step 3

    Cover the pot and place it over medium-high heat. After about 10 minutes, reduce the heat to medium to medium-low to make sure it is cooking slowly. Braise the chicken for 30 minutes, then flip the pieces upside down and tuck in the prunes, distributing them evenly throughout. 

  • Step 4

    Continue braising for about 20 more minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.