Coconut Chicken with Dates & Chickpeas

I was in the mood to make a meal inspired by Latin, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. When I opened my kitchen cabinet and saw the can of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), I decided that would be my starting point and then all of the other pieces fell into place!

After learning how to prepare chicken Marsala, I felt I could use the same method in order to cook this dish even though I was altering the ingredients. I went with a lot of sweet components since my boyfriend and I enjoy those flavors. However, I could easily see how adding some heat would bring a nice balance to the meal. With that in mind, I might try throwing in a little bit of ground cayenne pepper or maybe a few drops of tabasco sauce the next time I make it.

I chose to mix some Sazón Goya into my flour coating for the chicken. However, if you don’t have that specific seasoning, you could try making your own dry mix using this recipe I found. The ingredients contained equal parts garlic powder, ground cumin, paprika, salt and ground coriander.

Regarding the nuts, I preferred the buttery taste of the pine nuts, but you could also try substituting them with toasted peanuts, cashews, pecans, etc.

I was really happy with how this turned out! Oh, and the rice was an ideal accompaniment for soaking up that rich and creamy sauce. 🙂

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2 tablespoons coconut extra virgin oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 packet Sazón Goya (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-13.5 oz can coconut milk
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
1/3 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1-15.5 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/3 cup white cooking wine with lemon flavor
1 1/2 cups cooked jasmine rice
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Chopped scallions
Salt & ground black pepper for serving (optional)


1. In a shallow plate, combine the flour, Sazón GOYA and black pepper. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove excess flour.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear chicken until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. Place a small ungreased skillet on medium heat. Add pine nuts, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are lightly toasted and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer toasted pine nuts to a small bowl.

4. Add chickpeas, onions and chopped dates to large skillet cooking over medium heat until onions and dates are soft, about 7 minutes. Add wine and simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and cook on low-medium heat until sauce comes to a gentle boil and thickens slightly, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Add sesame tahini, cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.

5. Return chicken to skillet until cooked through and sauce has slightly thickened, another 5 minutes.

6. Serve over bed of jasmine rice and top with toasted pine nuts and chopped scallions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (optional).

4 thoughts on “Coconut Chicken with Dates & Chickpeas

    1. Dana Post author

      Thanks Kelly! I have to give TJ credit for this main photo as he took it while I was cleaning up from all of the cooking, lol! 😉


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