here's an idea for date night: date and asparagus chicken.  this is a dish with a moroccan influence, hence the date and meat combination.  the dates serve a purpose to soften the chili powder in this dish and numb it a little as well as to give the chicken a smokey character - it's almost like making a stir fry with soy sauce and worcestershire sauce, that's the best way i can describe it.

(click on any of the photos for the full recipe)

here's a time to use thigh meat as opposed to breast meat.  whenever i am making a stir fry with small pieces, i use thigh because of less chance of the meat drying out.  

in this case, i soaked the chicken in lemon juice and salt and black pepper while i prep the rest of the ingredients.  i'm convinced that this step moistens the meat a little, but i'm not sure. 

the four main ingredients here are asparagus, dates, garlic, and lemon.  try to find fresh asparagus, you can tell by finding the skinny ones that snap back at you when you flick them.  here, i used dry pitted dates.  

you know how much i love my butter...

i started by slicing the dates lengthwise, about 8 pieces per date and i coarsely cut up the garlic.  i tossed both of these in the butter and cooked on medium heat until the garlic started to brown and the dates softened. i added olive oil, crushed red peppers, red chili powder and coriander powder to the mix and cooked until they whole mixture became a deep brown and had a very smokey flavor.

i added the chicken next and tossed in some water and cooked this covered.

once the chicken is about 60-70% cooked, i tossed in the asparagus.

i wanted the asparagus to stay crunchy, so i turned off the heat once the chicken was about 90% done and the asparagus was still stiff.

by the time you get your plates ready, the chicken will be perfectly cooked to 100% and not overdone.  ah, the feeling you get when meat is not overcooked is one of the best feelings possible.  take it and savor it.

sprinkle a few chia seeds on top for texture.  this will also help you earn points with the new age superfood eaters you would love to be.

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