I made dinner at 8am. I was standing around, kids were all transfixed on the TV and I realized I didn’t have anything I had to do. And since I use cooking as a relaxation tool, I hopped right to it making dinner immediately after finishing breakfast.
This is a version of a dinner inspired from an amazing cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin – Braised chicken with saffron onions, italian couscous, and dates. When the twins were super little I either made this for a date night at home with the husband, or an evening when I had one of my cooking school friends and her husband over – I was so tweaked out in the post partum anxiety zone that I can’t remember which occasion it was. But regardless, I remember how much I loved the combination of chicken and dates. Never occurred to me and it rocked. But the original recipe was bit too labor intensive for my current social schedule revolving around entertaining the under 4 set. This was fast, wonderful combination of flavors, and perfect for a weeknight or dinner party. The kids were totally down with the chicken – smothered of course in ketchup not dates, but regardless, this is something you can ease them into. And be kinda glad they don’t gobble it all up so you can have it for lunch the next day.
- 1 organic chicken
- 2 meyer lemons if possible – if not, regular lemons will still make you happy
- salt and pepper
- farro (about 2 cups cooked)
- 1 butternut squash diced into 1/2″ cubes (microwave for 1-2 minutes to make it easier to cut)
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 8 oz dates, chopped small
- 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 3 Tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- juice of 2 lemons
- 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Oven to 400. Thinly slice lemon and carefully loosen skin over breast area of chicken and slide in pieces of lemon. Drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper over the entire beast. Put on a rack in a roasting pan, or rest it on top of thickly sliced onion. Roast 1 hour – I turned off oven and let it sit in there for 30 more minutes and it was perfect.
- After you get the chicken in, put butternut squash on a baking sheet – toss with little olive oil and salt and pepper. Pop in oven and stir every 10 minutes, tossing them over to brown on all sides, and one you can pierce with fork pull them out.
- Combine farro, butternut squash, shallot, 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Stir together dates through olive oil. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve a dollop on top of the chicken, alongside the farro-butternut.