Yvonne Maffei’s Roast Chicken With Couscous, Dates and Buttered Almonds Recipe (2024)



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The recipe looked so interesting i tried it right away. Once again, I am left thinking, does anyone try these recipes before they publish them? The cous cous absorbs the chicken broth (fat), the top of the chicken is not brown (per the recipe) so when you turn it over to serve you have a chicken top with soggy white skin. The flavors were Ok, but not really interesting. There are many more interesting recipes. Come on NY Times, do a little research on the stuff you print.


Yes. In addition to the olive oil and butter, the couscous soaks up all of the chicken fat (which is why it is so delicious). I just roast the chicken with S&P on a rack. Toast almonds in 2T. butter, then drain on paper towels. Only add 1 T. olive oil to the couscous, then right before serving add 1 T. of the chicken fat. Not quite as delicious, but cuts the calories almost in half.


I substituted boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and raisins for the dates, cooking it first in the oven for 20 minutes and then with the couscous for 15 minutes. This dish was delicious and easy. I think next time I will add stock to the couscous instead of water for a bit more flavor as I chose not to use butter or sugar.

Michael Coventry

This was absolutely delicious. We made it almost exactly as written, except we dropped the extra sugar, added a bit more salt, and used Israeli couscous. We also, having consulted the 'myhalalkitchen' blog, adopted her 10 minute interlude of breast-up cooking before adding couscous and covering.

A singular dish and worth making again.


Delicious, but very rich! Substituted bulghar for couscous, using similar technique. Next time will eliminate butter...dry toast almonds and add slivered dates directly to bulghar..no need for additional fat. Turned chicken over and broiled to crisp breast skin. Would turn chicken breast-side up when adding couscous/bulghar for final minutes of cooking.


The picture of the dish shows the breast side up;there's no way the breast would be that golden brown cooking with the skin side down. All the liquid from the couscous would have made the skin rubbery at some point, so apparently the original cook or the person who made this for the picture flipped the chicken at some point. Did any of you who made the dish get your breasts to be that golden brown?


Intrigued by flavor profile - concerned with saturated fat. Eliminated all butter in favor of olive oil. Roasted chicken separately in clay pot. When done, set it to rest and collected juices (discarding fat in separator). Added chicken stock to juices to equal 2 and 1/4 cups total. Browned (Israeli) couscous (no soaking) with dates and almonds and a big pinch of saffron. Added liquid mixture and cooked couscous conventionally for 10 minutes. Combined elements. Delicious!


Delish and versatile. Made it w/ quinoa, which is slightly healthier and more nutritious. I stirred 1c rinsed quinoa around in the grease at the base of the partially-roasted chicken, then poured 2c scalding hot chicken broth over it, then folded in the buttered almonds, dates, grated orange peel, cinnamon, salt, etc. Then lidded the whole kit and caboodle and put it back into the oven. The dates add plenty of sweetness, you don’t need the honey or sugar. Garnish w/ mint, cilantro, scallions.


Love this recipe, but after reading comments about soggy skin I made following changes: 1) Use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs; 2) Marinate the thighs in salt, pepper, ginger, lemon zest/juice, and a few glugs of olive oil for a few hours; 3) Brown the thighs in olive oil for about 15 minutes before adding couscous, almonds, and dates (then into the oven).I like to serve with this stir-fried kale from Ottolenghi https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/feb/17/yotam-ottolenghi-ka...


This recipe is a knockout. I did not use sugar or honey, do not think they are needed. I used quinoa and made it with chicken broth, so yummy. This is so full of flavor and it is so easy to make. Your family will thank you and you will make it many times over. Love it

Margaret P.

To clarify: 2 c. of chicken broth for the 2 c. of water; orange zest for the orange blossom water...


I added some warm spices (clove, cardamon, hint of allspice) and crushed red pepper for some heat. Instead of water, I soaked the couscous in chicken stock and added a little bit more before distributing around the chicken. Using thighs cuts the time in half for this recipe.

Margaret P.

I made this the other night and boy was it good! I subbed 2 c. of chicken broth from the freezer and grated zest of an orange for the orange blossom water, plus went closer to an hour in the covered dish cooking part. The chicken was moist and falling apart good, and the couscous gets nice and crusty around the edges. Just a really nice, flavorful (and comforting) dish.

Sherif Salem

Amazing! Its the first recipe I try from NYT cooking, and my wife loved it. I followed the recipe as is but now that I read some of the comments below, it makes me want to do it again with some variations. Definitely, though the star of the dish is the couscous with dates and almonds.By the way, I don't cook much (to my wife's dismay), but this was really easy and turned out great.

Sandy Camargo

As usual when I make a new recipe, I followed this exactly. It was very easy. I had my doubts about the couscous, but it cooked up as expected. You soak it in water and do not drain it when you add the rest of the ingredients. As a result of the added water and cooking the chicken breast-side down, the chicken breast was very moist. On the other hand, the chicken didn't brown the way it's shown in this photo, but it tasted great. Our guests adored it.


Very sweet, tastes like November. Works fine with pearl cous cous. Try searing chicken in cast iron before putting in Dutch oven

Nancy R

Had no couscous or dates so used orzo and prunes and just had chicken breasts so adjusted cooking time. Followed some other notes by adding onions and cut back on butter left out sugar. Was just delicious!


See notes of others. Cook chicken separately, less fat and maybe use Israeli couscous


Can anyone please help me with a substitute for cinnamon? I really dislike the spice in savoury dishes.


Solid recipe.Next time:- Don’t wimp out on the spices, use the full tsp of cinnamon and use more than 1tsp of orange zest (subbing for orange blossom water) - Use the full 2Tbs of lemon juice (I was unnecessarily afraid that it would burn on the bottom of the Dutch oven) - Stir the couscous before serving. The best tasting couscous is on the bottom! - Let the chicken sit overnight in the rub (sans lemon juice)


This was sadly inedible. The orange blossom water overpowered everything. I felt like I was eating some kind of perfume. I tried to salvage dinner by serving just the chicken but it was very dry. 0/10.


This was pretty good and not too difficult but you would definitely need to run the chicken under a much higher temp for the nice crispy skin in the picture. Our final dish looked pretty lack luster and brown at the end but was still good to eat!


Delicious! I made it exactly as written (including the optional orange blossom water) and the flavors blended together around the moist chicken. I think this would be a great dish for a festive crowd, as it looks beautiful coming out of the oven with the chicken hemmed in by couscous, then you can chop up the chicken to serve on the mound of couscous, stirred up so the parts that were in different part so the pot are blended. It is a large dish — I used a 5 quart Dutch oven.

Cookin’ RAF

made pretty much as directed (what cook doesn’t sub this or that?!) - The skin came off on the bottom of the pot with the breast side down at the start. I used chicken broth instead of water…next time I will put the chicken on a rack, breast side up at first to brown and then flip to settle in the couscous with the lid on. (For presentation, I will flip the chicken again).


Love this one and have made several times. Most recently took inspiration from Mark Bittman’s version…1) added sautéed onions, garlic, fresh ginger, chickpeas into the couscous mixture. 2) added a little vanilla (and rest of lemon juice) to Couscous mixture3) Also like to add brown rice (cooked) to the mix as the varied texture is really nice4) Go heavier with the cinnamon and salt to accommodate the extras in the couscous

Sue Maree P

I made this tonight and it was so delicious. I don't eat couscous so I added cooked quinoa and cooked buckwheat groats. I plated this with a bed of baby spinach drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil under the grains, then chop roasted chicken, Nigella seeds and chopped fresh coriander. Served with spicy roasted diced potatoes that were tossed in olive oil, spicy paprika and cumin. I would highly recommend trying this recipe.


Made exactly as specified in recipe. Delicious. Picture in recipe not like what I cooked. This is normal for me.

Cooking Note:MWO

Chicken was over cooked. Loved the couscous with extra dates

Casey M

Great recipe - especially for a multitasking kind of evening. (You aren’t tied to your stove!) Didn’t have a full chicken, so used four thighs skin on and three legs skin on. Wanted the skin to be a little crispier, so between the first chicken cooking step and adding the couscous I put the meat under the broiler for a few minutes then replaced back in the dish skin-side up. Had some golden raisins from another recipe, added those to the mix before final cooking, too!


My family LOVES this recipe. Only thing, I make it on the stove-top with chicken thighs or chicken breast (whatever I have on hand). This way, I can control the pan juices. I just brown the chicken in the leftover butter from the almonds (adding a little more for "gravy"), then drizzle the honey over the chicken in the last few minutes of cooking. Then add the cooked chicken to the warm couscous mixture and voila. The orange blossom water is a must and we double the cinnamon! So good! Thank you!

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Yvonne Maffei’s Roast Chicken With Couscous, Dates and Buttered Almonds Recipe (2024)


How to roast a chicken Nigella Lawson? ›

Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top. Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

How does Gordon Ramsay roast a chicken in the oven? ›

Gordon's cooking method for the chicken—trussing it, elevating with a grate, and placing it in the center of the oven—helps ensure even heat circulation for even cooking.

How to cook roast chicken James Martin? ›

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
  2. Place the onions and carrots in a deep-sided roasting tin, then sit the chicken on top. ...
  3. Roast for 1-1¼ hours, or until the chicken is cooked through. ...
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and set aside, covered, to rest for 10 minutes.

How to cook chicken in the oven Martha Stewart? ›

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. ...
  2. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
Jun 12, 2017

How to cook chicken breasts so they are moist and tender? ›

Getting a good sear through medium high heat, then reducing the heat to LOW and COVERING the chicken while it cooks. The butter, oil, and chicken juices create a super flavorful liquid that acts as a way to steam the chicken at a low temperature, ensuring that it is moist & tender on the inside.

Should you flip roasting chicken? ›

Remove the vegetables and the pan juices to a plate before finishing cooking the chicken. This will keep the skin crisp in the pan. You'll want to flip the chicken over once it reaches 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit to give the breast meat enough time to caramelize under the broiler.

Why is my roast chicken not crispy? ›

Chicken skin needs to be dry in order for it to crisp when cooked. Whether or not you rinse the chicken before prepping, you need to make sure the skin is as dry as possible. After removing the chicken from the package (and washing it, if that is your preferred method) pat each piece dry with paper towels.

What spices enhance the flavor of chicken? ›

5 best spice and herbs blends for chicken and meat
  • Paprika and garlic powder. Paprika is a great spice that makes any chicken dish stand out, it comes in many forms sweet, hot, regular and smoky. ...
  • Basil and rosemary. ...
  • Ginger and lemongrass. ...
  • Turmeric and chili. ...
  • Coriander and cumin.

What does putting a lemon in a chicken do? ›

The benefits of the hot steaming lemon going into the chicken are very obvious as the meat tastes amazing, and the chicken cooks slightly quicker because of it. Rub the chicken inside and out with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

How do you make chicken taste more flavorful? ›

Just sprinkling a little salt on top of your chicken right before cooking it will only season the surface. But seasoning the chicken with salt well ahead of time or brining it in a salt-water solution will draw salt deep into the meat, resulting in a very tasty piece of chicken.

How long do you roast chicken Nigella? ›

The rule of thumb for a roast chicken direct from the fridge at 200°C/180°C Fan/350°F is to allow for a cooking time of 20 minutes per pound or 45 minutes per kilo, plus an extra 20 minutes.

How long to roast a chicken chart? ›

Roasting Chicken
TypeWeightApproximate Time at 350°F
Whole Chicken3 – 5 lb. broiler1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hrs.
Whole Chicken6 – 8 lb. roaster1 1/2 – 2 1/4 hrs.
Breast, Bone-In6 – 8 oz.30 – 40 min.
Breast, Boneless4 oz.20 – 30 min.
5 more rows

Do you need foil to roast chicken? ›

Weigh your chicken and calculate the cooking time according to the guide below. Sit the bird in a roasting tin slightly larger than the chicken, and don't cover it with foil or you won't achieve a crisp skin. Basting your chicken during cooking will help keep the meat moist.

Why does roast chicken take so long to cook? ›

Size and Thickness: The size and thickness of chicken pieces can vary, affecting cooking time. Larger or thicker pieces will require more time to cook thoroughly. Starting Temperature: If the chicken is not at room temperature before cooking, it will take longer to reach the desired internal temperature.

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