One of the hottest tickets around our office these days is the book Jerusalem, from Yotam Ottolenghi, whose Plenty was a best-seller last year. In Jerusalem, Ottolenghi returns to his roots with co-author and friend Sami Tamimi, celebrating the food of their homeland. Both authors were born in Jerusalem in the same year–Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west—and together in Jerusalem they share personal, cross-cultural perspectives and vibrant recipes from the diverse city they grew up in.

To win a copy of the book – something even we are having a hard time getting our hands on – Fodor’s is giving away a copy here , where you’ll also find Yotam’s recommendations for where and what to eat in his home city. (Update: the giveaway has ended)

Even if you don’t get your hands on the real thing for a little while, you can still start cooking from Jerusalem! One of the most comforting, fall-worthy recipes from the book is this roasted chicken, with Jerusalem artichokes and lemon, a clever middle-eastern twist on a classic dish. For more recipes from Jerusalem, be sure to catch the excerpt at the end of the post. Additionally, the authors created a few entertaining, educational cooking demos–including one of the delightful  Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Figs recipe.

Roasted chicken with Jerusalem artichoke

Roasted chicken with Jerusalem artichoke & lemon

from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi (Ten Speed Press, October 2012)

1 lb / 450 g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 6 wedges inch / 1.5 cm thick
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, or 1 medium whole chicken, quartered
12 banana or other large shallots, halved lengthwise
12 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium lemon, halved lengthwise and then very thinly sliced
1 tsp saffron threads
3 tbsp / 50 ml olive oil
cup / 150 ml cold water
1 tbsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
cup / 10 g fresh thyme leaves
1 cup / 40 g tarragon leaves, chopped
2 tsp salt
tsp freshly ground black pepper

Put the Jerusalem artichokes in a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of water, and add half the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, until tender but not soft. Drain and leave to cool.
Place the Jerusalem artichokes and all the remaining ingredients, excluding the remaining lemon juice and half of the tarragon, in a large mixing bowl and use your hands to mix everything together well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 475°F / 240°C. Arrange the chicken pieces, skin side up, in the center of a roasting pan and spread the remaining ingredients around the chicken. Roast for 30 minutes. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook for a further 15 minutes. At this point, the chicken should be completely cooked. Remove from the oven and add the reserved tarragon and lemon juice. Stir well, taste, and add more salt if needed. Serve at once.

Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi – Recipes and Excerpt