ON MY FIRST visit to the Palm Springs farmers market, I came across a date seller who had the most amazingly plump dates I have ever seen. One bite and I was in love. A few weeks later, I visited their farm: 7 Hot Dates run by the Bautista family outside Palm Springs.
I had no idea how much work goes into growing dates. From hand pollinating, removing thorns, climbing up and down ladders, adding nets so the birds don’t eat the fruit: it’s not just picking dates. But when it is time for picking, it’s done in August, the hottest month of the year, when the temperature can be 120oF. They grow seven types of organic dates, and they ship to all over the U.S. and Canada. Find out more at7HotDates.com.
6 to 8 chicken thighs (Note: I usually serve 2 per person)
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper
juice from 2 lemons
14 sweet dates like khadrawy, pitted
12 garlic cloves
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup olive brine
6 thyme sprigs
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Melt the butter in a pan, season the chicken with salt and pepper, and fry until golden on each side.
- Place the chicken and the juices in a baking dish.
- Add lemon juice, dates, garlic, olives, olive brine, and thyme.
- Roast in oven for about 30-45 minutes, until chicken completely cooked through. Always good idea to use a thermometer to check for doneness!
- Serve with a green side salad.
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