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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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...

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.

Margaret P.

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

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.


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

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.


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.


Cooked as written but in the final 5 minutes flipped the bird, basted with butter and put the whole thing under the broiler. Perfection!!


Cooked just as directed. Delicious!


This was absolutely delicious! I used a rotisserie chicken to speed the cooking process up and it worked wonderfully since I was able to skip the whole step of roasting the chicken.


Cooked breast down in a cast iron dutch oven. Skin was nicely browned but did stick a little so it tore when being removed. Chicken was spatchco*cked so maybe the breast made extra good contact.


Read the comments and made a few modifications so the chicken browned and also because only get the quick cooking coucous in the shops here. I think it is lovely! Will make this again. My husband doesn’t like dates and will have to substitute it next time.


I followed many of the other comments. I did not have couscous, so I substituted farro and cooked it on the stovetop for 10 minutes. I dry pan-roasted the almonds (no butter) and used chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken. These changes cut down on the time because I only had to cook them in the oven for 30 minutes. The sweetness of the dates was really nice and added a nice dimension to the dish. I will put this into the rotation at our house!


This was a delicious recipe. I turned the oven up to 450°, added a generous heap of diced celery nestled around the chicken while it roasted, I sautéed half a diced onion and added it to the couscous along with mushrooms, and chopped spinach. I flipped the bird over for 15 mins before adding couscous. I took all the meat off the bone and cut it into chunks and served it over the couscous with chopped parsley.


This recipe was awful. Looked like the chicken was barely cooked on the top with just the faintest of color. Cooked the chicken per the recipe in terms of duration and temperature, and cutting into the chicken after a resting period, blood came out. I was intrigued by this recipe based on the flavor and to say I was severely disappointed is an understatement. I’ve never had an issue with any NYT recipe before this one.


We followed the recipe but did not add sugar, doubled the salt and ginger, and roasted it breast side up. Did not have orange blossom water so added a little orange zest. Took the lid off and gave it another 10 minutes. Delicious!


It’s rare for me to post on this site, but I use it frequently and often read the suggestions. I found this one very difficult to follow. My chicken stuck to the bottom of my Le Crueset Dutch oven. The couscous mixture was mush and very very sweet. It was moist, but so not worth the effort


I followed this recipe exactly as written and the chicken came out looking bald and steamed. Note to self: read the comment section first before attempting the recipe.

Chuck W

Isn't the chicken breast side up in the picture?

lorraine the basic cook at best

Question- do I drain the couscous before adding to the chicken?


I assume you do NOT drain the couscous because the normal ratio of grain:water is 1:1. This recipe calls for 2 cups couscous and 2 cups water.

Liz P.

I prepared this lackluster dish. It was dry overall, and the taste lacked complexity; the chicken, after 50 minutes baking by itself before 30 more minutes with the couscous, almonds, and dates added, tasted warmed over.

cooked in dallas

No flavor.

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