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Spicy Chicken with Dates and Butternut Squash


  • 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


Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. 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. 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. 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. 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. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to