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LivingFood and DrinkBraised Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes and Dates

Braised Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes and Dates

by Susan Hanna

This one-pot meal from NYT Cooking combines chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, carrots, leeks and dates with spices, lemon, ginger, orange juice and dill. Marinate the chicken briefly while you chop and combine the sweet potatoes, carrots, dates and spices. Brown the chicken and set aside. Cook the leeks, then layer the chicken and vegetable mixture in the pot. Add orange juice and cook for 55-70 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro or dill before serving.

Serves 6-8.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check to spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. Parnoosh dates are additive-free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


  • 2 ½ pounds (1.13 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) kosher salt, more as needed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ pounds (566 g) sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch (1.25-cm) chunks
  • 1 pound (454 g) carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch (0.62-cm) thick coins
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dates or prunes, diced (or substitute other dried fruit)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated or minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 (2-inch-/5-cm-long) cinnamon stick
  • 1 large pinch ground cayenne or red-pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 large leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
  • ½ cup (125 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ cup (187.5 ml) chopped fresh cilantro or dill


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine chicken thighs, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt, coriander, cumin and pepper, tossing well. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. In another large bowl, add the sweet potato, carrot, dates or prunes, lemon zest, grated ginger if you like, cinnamon stick, cayenne and remaining 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt. Stir to combine.
  3. In a 5- to 7-quart (5-7 litre) Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high. Add as many pieces of chicken as comfortably fit in the bottom of the pan without crowding and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken pieces to a plate as they brown. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding more oil as needed.
  4. Add leeks, a pinch of salt and more olive oil to the pan if it looks dry. Sauté leeks until golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Place half of the chicken in 1 layer on top of the leeks. Top with half of the sweet potato mixture, spreading it out evenly over the chicken. Repeat layering with the remaining chicken and sweet potato mixture. Pour orange juice into the pan.
  6. Cover pot and transfer to the oven. Braise, covered, until the chicken and vegetables are tender, for about 55 to 70 minutes, stirring the mixture after 30 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs and serve.

From NYT Cooking





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