Flavor contrasts are central to Sephardi cooking, with chicken cooked with fruit embodying that well. In my modern and easy sheet-pan preparation, cherry preserves give the chicken beautiful color and flavor. The apples turn silky soft and the sour cherries develop an almost candy-like quality during broiling.
In a bowl or large resealable bag, combine the chicken, cherries, preserves, vinegar, two tablespoons of olive oil, one teaspoon kosher salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to taste. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning several times.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil.
On the sheet pan, toss the apples and onion with the remaining one and a half tablespoons olive oil, half a teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.
Add the cherries and chicken (skin-side up) to the sheet pan in a single layer, ensuring a few cherries rest on top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Turn the broiler to high and adjust rack to be nearest to broiler. Broil until just crisped, two to four minutes. Let rest for five minutes before serving. Season to taste.
Excerpt from The Essential Jewish Cookbook, by Marcia Friedman, published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2021 by Callisto Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Photography by Sarah Husney