In Syria, Jews maintained a hierarchy to their foods. Grains and vegetables were the most plentiful and inexpensive and would be found at every meal. Chicken was more limited and was rarely served during the weekday, but generally starred as the Friday night entree. Beef and other fowl were more expensive and reserved for special dishes or occasions. Lamb was generally served only for the most festive of events.
This and several similar recipes, using pasta or potatoes, were designed by Syrian Jews to slow cook for several hours, thereby providing a warm and flavorful dish for Friday night dinner. Today, these slow-cooked chicken dishes remain the heart of Syrian Friday night dinners.