Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Dates

This roast chicken with sweet potatoes and dates–a take on the classic chicken Marbella–is ideal for the Jewish high holidays yet ecumenical enough for Sunday suppers everywhere. It’s a mitzvah!

A sheet pan filled with roast chicken pieces, sweet potato chunks, dates, and a parsley garnish.

This sweetly savory one-pan chicken dinner is indeed worthy of a celebration. It’s easy to make, feeds a crowd, and the combination of roast chicken, sweet potatoes, and dates is truly irresistible. It’s loosely based on that classic, Chicken Marbella from The Silver Palate Cookbook. Trust us when we say your guests will be asking and perhaps even pleading for the recipe.Angie Zoobkoff

Roast Chicken FAQs

Can I use all breast meat for this recipe?

You can, but we’d caution you to use bone-in breasts. Boneless breasts may cook faster than your sweet potatoes, leaving you with unappetizing, dried-up meat in your main course. You’ll need roughly 8 pounds of bone-in breasts for this recipe.

What is the best way to pit a date?

It’s simpler than it sounds, but just use a knife to carefully slice the date lengthwise. You should gently hit the pit but not cut through the whole date. Pry the sides open with your thumbs while pushing the back of the date with your index fingers. This will push the pit out to a point where you can grab it to remove it completely. Need a quicker option? Just buy pitted dates.

How small should I cut my sweet potatoes?

The recipe calls for bite-size pieces. That’s pretty small – but it’s an important note. Sweet potatoes are dense and hard, and take a substantial amount of baking time to break down and get to that sweetly soft perfection. The smaller you cut your pieces, the more likely you’ll have finished potatoes along with your chicken. If you’re looking for a specific “bite-size” measurement – cut your sweet potatoes into about 1-inch cubes.

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Roast Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Dates

A sheet pan filled with roast chicken pieces, sweet potato chunks, dates, and a parsley garnish.

This roast chicken with sweet potatoes and dates is worthy of a Rosh Hashanah celebration, but is just as welcome at your next casual gathering or Sunday supper.

Julia Turshen

Prep 30 mins

Cook 1 hr

Total 1 hr 30 mins

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Two (3- to 4-pound) chickens each cut into 10 pieces (2 wings, 2 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts cut in half across the bone), backbone discarded (or saved for another use, like stock), at room temperature
  • 3 large sweet potatoes unpeeled, scrubbed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 12 large dried dates preferably Medjool, halved and pitted
  • A small handful of chopped fresh soft herbs such as cilantro, parsley, dill, or chives
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).

  • In a roasting pan large enough to hold all the chicken pieces in a single layer, whisk the vinegar, olive oil, water, garlic, salt, and pepper together. Add the chicken pieces, sweet potatoes, and dates.

  • Use your hands to mix everything together and get the mixture on all of the chicken, sweet potatoes, and dates. Move everything around so the sweet potatoes and dates are in a single layer at the bottom of the pan and the chicken is in a single layer on top, skin side up.

  • Roast until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chicken pieces are firm to the touch and their exposed skin is nicely browned, about 1 hour. Let the chicken rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.

  • Serve the chicken straight from the roasting pan, including a spoon so you can spoon some pan juices over the top, or transfer the chicken, sweet potatoes, and dates to a platter and pour the cooking juices over the top. Sprinkle with the herbs and serve warm.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 440kcal (22%)Carbohydrates: 35g (12%)Protein: 23g (46%)Fat: 23g (35%)Saturated Fat: 6g (38%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 82mg (27%)Sodium: 1020mg (44%)Potassium: 729mg (21%)Fiber: 5g (21%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 18245IU (365%)Vitamin C: 6mg (7%)Calcium: 63mg (6%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published September 8, 2018

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