Chicken with Dates and Lemon

This recipe for chicken with dates and lemon is the perfect illustration of the food I hope to share on the uglyducklingbakery blog. A friend and I were recently texting about one of my photos, and she said to me, “The dish tonight was perfect, but maybe almost too perfect for your tag line.”

That tag line – Tastes delicious. Looks homemade – is what my cooking and this blog is all about. I hope to share my love of food and provide inspiration for easy weeknight meals or all-day baking adventures. The food I make may or may not be pretty. Either way, food shouldn’t be fussy.

This chicken and date recipe is also easy, perfect for a beginner cook or weeknight dinner when your kiddo distracts you with multiple games of Uno.

Recipe source

This recipe was inspired by dates in the pantry and Claudia Roden’s Book of Jewish Food. I have ~20 of my mother’s cookbooks, this being one, including her volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cooking, and Craig Claiborne’s NY Times Cookbook from 1961. Roden’s cookbook is a masterpiece, showing the influence of different cultures and local ingredients as they are shared around the world.

This adaptation skips browning the chicken for time and convenience. And adds hazelnuts for a bit of crunch.

FAQs about this chicken with dates and lemon

What to serve with chicken with dates and lemon?

In Morocco, this recipe would be served over couscous. Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous, is another option.

Related recipes

Check out other chicken recipes like this cast iron chicken breast recipe, cranberry chicken salad, Parmesan chicken muffins, or these chicken and apple meatballs.

Chicken with Dates

5 from 1 vote
Servings: 4
Calories: 254kcal
Print Recipe


  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped or sub a red onion
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • teaspoon ginger powder
  • cup chicken broth or water
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts almonds are traditional here


  • Optional: saute the chicken until lightly browned, then remove from pan.
    1 pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs, 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Saute the shallots on low heat until soft.
    2 shallots, chopped
  • Add spices and toast until fragrant (30-60sec).
    1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon ginger powder
  • Add the chicken broth, chicken, and some salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165F.
    1½ cup chicken broth or water
  • Add dates and lemon juice and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
    juice of ½ lemon, 6 dates, pitted
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve over couscous or rice, and sprinkle with nuts.
    ¼ cup chopped nuts


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 460mg | Potassium: 582mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
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