Easy, delicious chicken dinner—for weeknights or company!

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Recently I was both intrigued and a bit leery of an Alison Roman recipe I discovered in People magazine. Millions love Ms. Roman’s recipes, but I sometimes do not have good luck with them. But this one—this one is a game changer.

Photo: JENNIFER CAUSEY (Mine was not this pretty…but was company-worthy-pretty!)

I made Alison Roman’s One-Pot Chicken with Caramelized Lemons for the first time for a guest—not usually a good plan. Not only that, it was on a Sunday evening after we’d been traveling all weekend, so I was tired, to boot.  But he’s a close friend so I figured if the dinner was a bust, we’d just order pizza.

Not only wasn’t it a bust, it was absolutely delicious. Actually, one of the best meals I’ve ever made. And it was very easy to prepare even though I was both tired and drinking wine (yes, a terrible combination…but I finished all knife work before the wine, I promise.)

Medjool dates are sold pitted, so that makes things easier. I am not a date fan, but cooked in this ‘sauce’ and served with the chicken they are fantastic. And dates are a great heart-healthy ingredient as they’re high in dietary fiber and nutrients.

I have since made this recipe 3 more times… and surprisingly even the cleanup of my dutch oven is a snap. The only hassle is handling raw chicken/removing the giblets (which is not hard but it skeeves me out, I must admit) and carving. The first time you make this, please note that you’ll need 15-20 minutes once it’s out of the oven before you are ready to serve—the chicken requires 10 minutes rest after cooking, and then you have to carve it.

If you’re looking for an easy, tasty, heart-healthy chicken dish with a ton of flavor give Alison Roman’s One-Pot Chicken with Caramelized Lemons a try.  It yields plenty of tasty ‘gravy’ right in the pot (no effort at all), so it’s fantastic with rice or potatoes. And a salad and/or green vegetable to round things out, of course. Oh, and maybe some wine…

Alison Roman's One-Pot Chicken with Caramelized Lemons
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
15 mins
Resting and Carving Time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 4 people
Author: Alison Roman
  • 1 4-lb. whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil divided
  • 2 shallots halved lengthwise
  • 1 lemon cut into thick slices, seeds removed
  • 4 to 6 Medjool dates pitted
  • 4 thyme sprigs plus leaves for serving
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Remove giblets, Rinse chicken, pat dry. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper. Slice the shallots and lemon and set aside.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken, breast side up, and press lightly so bottom of chicken is completely flat.

  3. Cook chicken—without moving it—until the chicken is browned on bottom, 5 to 8 minutes. (I do 8 minutes.)

  4. Add shallots and lemon, making sure they come into contact with the bottom of pan. Cook over medium high until shallot mixture sizzles and is lightly caramelized, about 2 minutes.

  5. Add dates, thyme and water. Sprinkle red pepper over chicken. COVER then roast in oven until dates are plump and chicken is almost cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. (I do 25).

  6. Drizzle chicken with 2 tablespoons oil. Return to oven, and bake, UNCOVERED, until liquid has reduced by half, chicken is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of breast registers 160° —about 20 to 30 minutes. (I do 25.)

  7. Let chicken rest in pot for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, and carve. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and sea salt, and serve with roasted shallots, lemon slices and dates.

Recipe Notes

If you have leftovers, store the chicken separately from the delicious sauce (otherwise it'll get soaked up.)



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