Ktzitzot: Israeli Chicken Patties

Amelia Saltsman
Recipe by
Amelia Saltsman

Pan-fried ground-meat patties — especially from poultry — are one of the most beloved Jewish Israeli comfort foods (the other is chicken schnitzel). The term comes from the verb “to grind”; choose whole parts and ask your butcher to grind them freshly for you.

Cookbook author and radio host Lynne Rosetto Kasper advises a mix of turkey and chicken for a richer, capon-like flavor. If you must use white meat, add a little olive oil to the meat mixture to prevent it from drying out.

1 egg
¼ cup (15 g) finely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs or cooked rice
1 pound (450 g) freshly ground chicken or turkey, or a mix
¼ cup (60 ml) olive or mild oil, such as safflower, sunflower, or grapeseed
  • In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the egg with a fork. Stir in the cilantro, onion, garlic, salt, paprika, cumin, turmeric, a few grinds of pepper, and the bread crumbs. Add the meat and mix gently but thoroughly. If you have time, chill the mixture for 1 hour or more.
  • Form the mixture into 10 to 12 patties, each about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. The patties may be made several hours ahead and refrigerated.
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the patties and fry, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 7 minutes total. Using a slotted spatula, transfer to paper towels to drain briefly. Repeat with the remaining patties. Serve hot.

​Reprinted with permission from The Seasonal Jewish Kitchen© 2015 by Amelia Saltsman, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Staci Valentine.