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Sweet & Spicy Roast Chicken with Carrots, Dates & Pistachios

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This sheet-pan roast chicken dinner is the perfect no-fuss dish for company. Everything can be prepared and assembled a day in advance, so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is pop it in the oven.

roast chicken

Don’t you just love discovering new “keeper” recipes? The first time I made Melissa Clark’s fabulous Sweet & Spicy Roast Chicken from The New York Times, I knew it’d be a family favorite for years to come. The chicken is immersed in a honey, citrus, and chili-infused marinade, and then roasted on a sheet pan with carrots and dates.

Before serving, herbs, scallions, and pistachios are added for freshness, color, and crunch. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also the perfect no-fuss dish for company. Everything can be prepared and assembled a day in advance, so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is pop it in the oven. Serve with couscous and a green vegetable and dinner is done!

What you’ll need to make Sweet & Spicy roast chicken

ingredients

The original recipe is wonderful as printed but, as with any recipe, each time I’ve made it, I’ve tweaked it to suit my style and my family’s taste. What follows is the version I make today.

How to make Sweet & Spicy roast chicken

marinade

Begin by making the marinade: whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, mustard, honey, red pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, and salt.

Place the chicken, carrots, onions, and dates in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and seal shut. Massage to make sure everything is evenly coated with the marinade, then marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

marinading

Transfer all ingredients from the bag, including the marinade, to a rimmed sheet pan. Turn the chicken skin side up.

ready-to-cook

Roast until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Turn on broiler (leave pan on middle rack), and cook a few minutes more, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Watch very carefully: the honey in the marinade can cause the skin to burn quickly!

cooked-chicken

Transfer the chicken, carrots, onions and dates onto a platter, along with the sauce in the pan. Sprinkle the parsley, scallions and pistachio nuts over top and serve.

spicy-honey-roast-chicken-1

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Sweet & Spicy Roast Chicken with Carrots, Dates & Pistachios

This sheet-pan roast chicken dinner is the perfect no-fuss dish for company. Everything can be prepared and assembled a day in advance, so all that’s left to do at dinnertime is pop it in the oven.

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes, plus at least 6 hours marinating time

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 2½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks and breasts)
  • 3 cups ¼-inch sliced carrots
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced dried dates
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
  • 2 scallions, light and dark green parts, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped salted pistachios, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the marinade: In a medium bowl whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, mustard, honey, red pepper flakes, garlic, thyme, and salt.
  2. Place the chicken, carrots, onions, and dates in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the marinade and seal shut. Massage to make sure everything is evenly coated with the marinade. Place the bag on a rimmed sheet pan to protect against leakage and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  4. Transfer all ingredients from the bag, including the marinade, to a rimmed sheet pan (do not line the pan with foil). Turn the chicken skin side up. Roast until chicken is lightly browned and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. About halfway through cooking, stir the carrots so that they don’t burn around the edges of the pan.
  5. Turn on broiler (leave pan on middle rack), and cook 1 to 3 minutes more, or until skin is golden brown and crispy. Watch carefully: the honey in the marinade can cause the skin to burn quickly.
  6. Transfer the chicken, carrots, onions and dates onto a platter, along with the sauce in the pan. Sprinkle the parsley, scallions and pistachio nuts over top and serve.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 1,022
  • Fat: 62g
  • Saturated fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Sugar: 49g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 60g
  • Sodium: 1306mg
  • Cholesterol: 227mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • This was absolutely delicious. Followed the recipe to the “T” The citrus in the marinade added so much flavor. Will definitely be making this again.

    • — Piper on January 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • My New Year’s resolution was (among other things) to cook one new recipe a week….this was one of them. My husband says he likes this chicken better than any chicken he has ever had. It was so tender and moist and he loved the seasonings and dates. I am thinking of cooking it for our Easter dinner this year and may even cook it in advance because the leftovers I reheated were even better than the first night! Thank you Jenn for another winner!!!

    • — Paulette on January 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this dish a number of times, easily one of my very favorites.

    • — Ian Macleod on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    What type of wine would you recommend serving with this dish?
    Thanks, Ruthie

    • — Ruthie Peterson on December 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Ruthie, if you want to go red, a Pinot Noir would be nice. If you’d prefer white, a Sauvignon Blanc or Reisling would pair well. you can read more about food and wine pairings here.

      • — Jenn on December 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • Made this dish last weekend for a pot luck get together. It was a big hit. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy. A keeper for sure! Thanks!

    • — Cathi D. on December 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    We are having 30 guests for Christmas; do you think I should sub chicken breasts because of small and elderly handling bones? What amount should be made for that many? Maybe add breasts to the original recipe?
    Have love your recipes.
    Jan

    • — Janet E Ferrari on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Janet, I really don’t recommend boneless breasts for this recipe – sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2022
      • Reply

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