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Spicy Chicken with Dates and Butternut Squash

Serves 4

Make your next chicken dinner Mediterranean-style! This recipe goes well with Citrus Couscous.


  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), seeded, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)l, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
  • 12 dried pitted dates (about 1 cup), coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley leaves (a large handful), roughly chopped


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Arrange the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat and roast in the hot oven until tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. While the squash is working, place a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown and almost cooked through, 6-7 minutes.
  4. Add the onion, dates, spices, bay leaf and cinnamon stick to the pan and continue cooking until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock to the pan and bring up to a bubble. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened and dates are plump, 5-6 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick from the stew. Stir in the roasted butternut squash. Garnish with the cilantro or parsley and serve with Citrus Couscous alongside.