A platter of roast chicken with dates and artichoke hearts.

Easter is going to feel different this year. There will be no epic gathering of relatives around a lamb at my aunt and uncle’s in Vermont. There will be no intimate reunion of siblings at my parents’ house in Connecticut. And alas, there will be no punch.

Am I sounding very glum? Sorry! I’m just finding it a little hard to get into the holiday spirit this year, and although I have a small spiral ham in the freezer that I might thaw for Easter dinner, I’m leaning towards making this spatchcocked roast chicken with dates and artichoke hearts.

It’s common this time of year to see recipes starring artichokes, which always sound and look so appealing, but which I just can’t get myself to make. I find prepping artichokes to be such a task, something I attempt once every few years, then swear off “forever.”

But what I can get myself to do is open a box of Trader Joe’s grilled artichoke hearts, which I discovered last fall and which I love in this one-pot lemon-orzo chicken.

Here, I’ve paired them with dates and onions, and I’ve roasted the chicken spatchcock style, using a favorite no-fuss Dorie Greenspan recipe as a guide. There is no sautéing or browning of anything first. Everything enters the pan at once, and 45 minutes later, it’s done: chicken skin bronzy, meat juicy, plentiful sauce pooling all around.

Dorie’s recipe calls for za’atar, which would work well here, too, but I’ve recently been loving Aleppo pepper. Friends, have you used Aleppo pepper? It has such a nice, smoky flavor with a slight kick, too. It tints both the bird and the sauce the loveliest ruddy hue.

Cliché as it sounds, the result of this recipe is so much greater than the sum of its parts. The onions, dates, and artichoke hearts combine with olive oil, white wine, and water to make such a flavorful sauce, tasting sweet, earthy, and briny all at once. The abundant sauce demands lots of bread. A lightly dressed green salad is all it needs.

Pantry staples + minimal prep? Something to boost my spirits! Wishing you all cheer and happiness during this holiday season!

PS: If you are making a ham on Sunday, I can’t recommend my grandmother’s mustard sauce enough. {New video in post.}

Here’s the play-by-play: Gather your ingredients.

dates, artichoke hearts, and onions

Place the sliced onion, chopped dates, and artichoke hearts in an oven-safe skillet or roasting pan. Toss with olive oil, white wine, and water. Season with salt and pepper.

A skillet filled with onions, artichoke hearts, and dates.

Spatchcock the chicken:

Season all over with salt, pepper, and Aleppo pepper, if you can find it. Transfer to a 425ºF oven for 45 minutes or until it’s …

Seasoned chicken ready for the oven.

… done!

A platter of roast chicken with dates and artichoke hearts.

You can serve it straight from the pot or transfer to a serving platter:

A platter of roast chicken with dates and artichoke hearts.
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A platter of roast chicken with dates and artichoke hearts.

Spatchcocked Roast Chicken with Dates & Artichoke Hearts

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  • Artichoke hearts: If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, look for their grilled artichoke hearts. They come in a box, and they live in the dry-foods aisle (as opposed to the refrigerator aisle). They are delicious. They are on the small side, so I don’t bother cutting them, though I do drain the oil. Once I made this and used the entire package, oil and all, and the flavor was a little overpowering and slightly artificial as well. If the artichokes you are using are on the large side, halve or quarter them. 
  • Aleppo pepper is a recent addition to my pantry. It has such a nice smoky flavor as well as a little bit of heat. If you can’t find it or don’t have it on hand, you can use a combination of smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne, or you can simply omit it and use freshly cracked pepper exclusively. Za’atar would be nice here, too. 


  • 2 small or 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 10 oz. artichoke hearts, drained, see notes above
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 chicken, roughly 3 pounds, backbone removed with scissors, see video
  • Aleppo pepper, optional, see notes above
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Heat the oven to 450ºF.
  2. In a small roasting pan (9×13-inches or similar) or large oven safe skillet — I use this 5-qt braiser — place the onions, dates, and drained artichoke hearts (coarsely chopped if large). Season with salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, white wine, and 1/2 cup water. Toss gently to combine.
  3. Place the chicken skin side down into the skillet and season the underside all over with salt and pepper to taste. Flip the chicken and season the skin side all over with salt and pepper to taste. If you are using Aleppo pepper, sprinkle it evenly over top. Brush the 2 tablespoons of melted butter over top.
  4. Transfer pan to the oven, reduce heat to 425ºF, and cook for 45 minutes or until done—the time will depend on your bird. The chicken should be golden brown and the juices should run clear when the thigh is pricked. An instant read thermometer should register 165ºF. Transfer the bird to a carving board to rest for at least 10 minutes for cutting and serving.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American