Try this one-pot chicken with dates, then check out our paprika chicken and classic roast chicken.

Alison Roman says..."It’s sweet and tangy and a little spicy, and just downright special. It’s got the kind of bold flavours you wouldn’t expect from so few ingredients. But it’s also a rather flexible dish and can be made with a whole chicken or chicken parts for a weeknight-friendly vibe."


  • whole chicken 1.8kg or chicken thighs or legs 1.25kg
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into thick rounds, pips removed
  • 2 echalion shallots, halved lengthways
  • 4-6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 4 thyme or oregano sprigs, plus extra to serve
  • ground urfa chilli 2 tbsp or dried chilli flakes 1 tsp


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Season the chicken all over. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Put the chicken in the pot, breast-side up and, using tongs, press lightly to make sure the skin comes into even contact with the base. (If using thighs or legs, sear the chicken skin-side down.)

  • STEP 2

    Cook for 5-8 minutes without moving the chicken, until browned. Add the lemon slices and shallots, ensuring the lemon gets to the bottom of the pan. Sizzle for 2 minutes.

  • STEP 3

    Add the dates, herbs and 250ml water. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with the chilli and put the lid on. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the dates are plump, the lemon slices are jammy and the chicken is almost but not totally cooked through.

  • STEP 4

    Remove the lid and drizzle the chicken with the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by 1/2, and the top of the chicken is golden brown.

  • STEP 5

    Let the chicken rest in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a chopping board and carve. Serve alongside the shallots, lemon slices and dates, with some more thyme and flaky salt sprinkled over.

*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards

Recipes extracted from Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over by Alison Roman (£22, Hardie Grant). Listen to Alison chat on episode 171 of the olive magazine podcast.

Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over by Alison Roman

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