One Pan Wonder: Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Dates

29 Jun

It’s always a delight to find a dish that wanders along the border of savory and sweet in a way so perfect that it’s completely satisfying. Recently I started getting a bi-weekly Imperfect Produce box, and in my most recent order I was gifted a couple of large sweet potatoes.  As soon as I got them, I was thinking of ways to roast and bring out their flavor, and what better way to balance that than with a well-seasoned chicken roasting over top of them?

I used to love the combination of sweet potatoes with brown sugar, but I’ve been off of refined sugar for a couple of months to cut down on inflammation, so I decided to bring that same flavor to the party with the addition of some soft, caramel-y, rich dates. But in order to keep things from getting cloying, we’d need just the right amount of tangy and umami flavors to bring it all together. And let me tell you, this dish plays like a well-tuned orchestra. Plus, it only takes one pan and is perfect for a weeknight meal.

Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Dates

  • 1 4-6 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces (two breasts, two wings, two thighs, two legs. Reserve backbone for making stock.)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, unpeeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 15 dates, pitted and halved
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water or unsalted chicken stock
  • 2-4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the sweet potatoes and dates in a roasting pan, season with salt and pepper, and toss with the vinegar, chicken stock, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and 2 cloves of minced garlic.

Rub the chicken pieces with the remaining olive oil, and then season on all sides with salt, pepper, paprika, and the remaining garlic.

Place the chicken pieces in one layer on top of the sweet potato mixture.

Roast the chicken for 1 hour, until the skin is well-browned, the pieces are firm, and the juices run clear. An instant-read thermometer should read at least 165 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of a breast or thigh.

Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes and then move the chicken and potato mixture to a platter. Spoon the sauce over top, garnish with fresh parsley, and enjoy!

The chicken is rich and juicy, the potatoes are soft (but not mushy), and the dates are perfectly caramelized. The pan sauce is velvety and savory. The best part? The whole dish is better even hours (or days) later when the flavors have all had time to meld together. This makes a delicious meal all on its own, but would also go great with a cool, crunchy, refreshing salad alongside it.

Hope you get a chance to get this merry band of ingredients together soon. This recipe is definitely going to be a part of my regular rotation. I’m really looking forward to playing around with more surprises from my produce box and can’t wait to share the results with you!

Ciao for now,

Neen

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