This easy one pot chicken dinner with lemons and dates and a touch of pepper is meant for company, but easy enough for family. Totally tasty!
35 to 4lb chicken/pr 3 lbs chicken thighs or legs-bone in and skin on
Kosher salt and Fresh ground pepper
4 T olive oil, divided
1 large lemon, cut into thick slices crosswise, seeds removed
2 large shallots, halved lengthwise
6 medjool dates, pitted (about 3 ounces)
4 sprigs fresh thyme or oregano, plus more for serving
1 c water
2 t ground Urfa chile, or 1 t crushed red pepper flakes
Flaky sea salt
Preheat oven to 425.
Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Place chicken in the pot, breast side up and press it lightly to make sure the skin comes in contact with the pot. (This browns the legs and renders fat.)
Cook, without moving until chicken is browned, 5-8 minutes. Do not move the chicken!
Add the lemons and shallots, placing them so they come in contact with the bottom of the pot. You may have to lift the chicken a bit. Let everything sizzle in the chicken fat until lightly caramelized, about two minutes.
Add the dates, thyme and water. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with the Urfa chile and place the lid on. Place the Dutch oven in the oven and roast until the dates are plump, the lemon is jammy and the chicken is almost cooked through. If you have a larger chicken, this could take a bit longer.
Remove the lid and drizzle the chicken with the rest of the olive oil and continue to cook until the liquid has educed by half and the top of the chicken is golden and glistening, another 20-30 minutes.
Let the chicken rest in the Dutch oven for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and carve. I always use my kitchen shears and cut into 4 pieces. You may want to slice up the breast though. Serve with the lemons, dates and shallots. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
The chicken can be made a few hours ahead, then kept in the Dutch oven at room temperature. If you wish to reheat it before serving, pop it back into the oven without a lid for 10-15 minutes or so.
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