Chicken 'Levivot' with Harissa Sauce

“Levivot” means “latke” in Hebrew. When Ron Arazi was growing up, his mother created these fritters as a way to use leftover chicken. It’s become a staple at the Arazis’ Hanukkah table. They now simmer a whole chicken with aromatic spices, then finely shred the meat, add lots of parsley and cilantro and bind it together with mashed potatoes and eggs. The pungent harissa sauce that accompanies the patties makes the dish even more festive. Plus:  More Chicken Recipes 

Chicken 'Levivot' with Harissa Sauce
Photo: © Christine Han
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
25 to 30 patties


  • 1 whole chicken (4 1/2 pounds)

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds

  • 1 tablespoon dry sage

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 tablespoon allspice

  • Salt

  • 2 big bunches parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 big bunch cilantro, finely chopped

  • 1 cup mashed potatoes

  • 5 eggs

  • Oil, for frying

Harissa Sauce

  • 1/4 cup NYSHUK harissa

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

  • 2 small garlic cloves, grated

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Make the Chicken

  1. Combine the chicken, cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, sage, bay leaves and allspice in a big pot. Add cold water to cover and season with salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Let the chicken cool completely in the broth.

  2. Remove the chicken and strain the broth. Finely shred the chicken into a large bowl. Discard the skin and bones. Reserve the broth for later use. Add the parsley, cilantro and mashed potatoes to the chicken, season generously to taste with salt and mix well. Stir in the eggs. Form the mixture into patties about 2 inches round and 1/2-inch thick; the thinner the patties, the crisper they will be.

Make the harissa sauce

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Fry the patties in batches until browned. Serve warm, with the harissa sauce on the side.


The harissa and l’ekama (a Middle Eastern spice blend in chili and garlic oil) called for in these recipes are available from NYSHUK

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