EyeSwoon creator Athena Calderone is known for her flair for making everything—from laundry rooms to chicken breasts—gorgeous. So, yes, her roast chicken with shallots and dates is a thing of beauty. And it also tastes ridiculously good. In her new book, Cook Beautiful, Calderone writes that the dish is, hands-down, the most requested meal in her house—and that's saying something when you consider that, prior to tasting it, her husband never liked chicken on the bone and her son wouldn't touch a shallot. Once you try it, you won't be surprised that she made believers out of both of them.

Calderone's recipe calls for bone-in, skin-on chicken-breast halves, and while we almost always choose dark meat for its flavor and lower likelihood of drying out, white meat works brilliantly here, remaining moist and infused with rich flavor.

The not-so-secret weapon behind this delicious pan-roasted supper? A cast-iron skillet, which retains heat evenly, is practically nonstick when seasoned and transfers from the stovetop to the oven with ease. The other tools to making this tasty dish are both expected (Herbs? Check. White wine? Check.) and surprising (pitted Medjool dates, smashed and pitted green olives and a splash of apple cider vinegar, which together infuse the chicken with a salty, sweet and tart punch).

The finished bird has a crunchy golden skin and is bursting with juice. The accompanying melt-in-your-mouth shallots and the buttery pan sauce are decadent finishing touches. Serve it with roasted or mashed potatoes, polenta, couscous or thick slices of crusty bread and you're sure to become a convert, too.

Get the recipe: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Dates


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