Giveaways, Recipes
Comments 21

Perfect picnic food with Californian Medjool Dates


This post was made possible thanks to big and juicy Californian Medjool Dates. These whole fruit treats are a natural source of fibre and a wonderful to refined sugar. Available at Huckleberry stores and in the fresh produce section of your local supermarket. Scroll down for giveaway details.


We have had a deliciously warm summer in Auckland.

Great picnic weather, and typically for Auckland, some not so great picnic weather.

To me, perfect picnic food works at ambient temperature and extra points if it can be eaten with hands. I’ve created these Moroccan chicken pies with Californian Medjool Dates to be enjoyed hot or cold.

Chicken, dried apricots and Californian Medjool Dates pair beautifully with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and ground ginger. These spices are warming but don’t pack any heat, making them excellent for a range of palates including little ones.

The filling can be made ahead of time and the pies filled and baked before you head out. And if you plan on bringing these to your next picnic, place pies a tea towel lined basket or container so they can cool without becoming soggy. I can confirm these pies can be gobbled up whole, but if serving a large group, you may prefer to cut the pies in half so everyone can enjoy a piece.

If the weather isn’t suitable for picnics, serve these pies warm from the oven and with a side salad.


Moroccan chicken hand pies

Makes 6 pies


  • 2 free range chicken breast halves (approx 450grams)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup Californian Medjool Dates, pitted and sliced
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, sliced


  • 3 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 1 free range egg yolk, beaten
  • Optional: sesame seeds

Filling (can be done ahead of time and refrigerated until required)

  1. Slice each piece of chicken breast into 3 long strips and then slice into 1cm thick pieces.
  2. Place a large saute pan over high heat and add olive oil. Once oil is hot, add chicken, onion and flour. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook evenly.
  3. Add carrots, garlic, spices, salt, pepper and wine and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add Californian Medjool Dates and apricots, stir to combine. Turn heat down to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. Allow to cool uncovered for at least 10 minutes before use.


  1. Remove puff pastry sheets from oven 10 minutes prior to use. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°C.
  2. Once pastry has softened, cut each sheet in half so you have 6 long rectangles. Place onto a baking paper lined baking sheet, spoon some filling onto one half of each piece of pastry, flattening gently and keeping clear of the edges of the pie.
  3. Lightly brush the top edges with beaten egg yolk and fold so that the corners and edges line up perfectly. Crimp the edges closed with the tines of a fork. Gently brush pies with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Serve warm with a side salad or allow to cool uncovered to take for lunch or a picnic.



In-store tastings

This month, Huckleberry stores will have free sampling of Californian Medjool Dates.

  • Harvest, Wednesday 7 February, 11am – 2pm
  • New Lynn, Thursday 8 February, 11am – 2pm
  • Glen Innes, Friday 9 February, 11am – 2pm
  • Royal Oak, Sunday 11 February, 11am – 2pm
  • The Strand Parnell, 14 February, 11am – 2pm
  • Herne Bay, Thursday 15 February, 11am – 2pm
  • Glen Innes, Friday 16 February, 11am – 2pm
  • Milford, Sunday 18 February, 11am – 2pm


Win a Huckleberry Prize Pack!

To celebrate Californian Medjool Dates recent rebrand, I have a Huckleberry Prize pack to give away to one reader. Prize includes $20 Huckleberry voucher, a Huckleberry tote bag and a jar of coconut oil .

To enter, simply comment below with your favourite picnic food.

Giveaway terms and conditions

  • Open to New Zealand only.
  • One entry per person.
  • Entries close 19 February 2018 and a winner will be drawn 20 February 2018, contacted by email and announced here and on social media.
  • In the event that the winner is not contactable within 3 days, Bunny Eats Design reserves the right to redraw a winner.



  1. Yum these pies sound divine, will use to try them. One of our fav picnic foods is falafel, I make it from scratch at home then we pack up buns, tomato, cucumber, lettuce and cheese to go with it so we can have falafel burgers on the beach. Our toddler loves it.

  2. KitCatB says

    your blog is amazing! It gives me so much energy and happy vibe when I clicked into it!

    Thanks for sharing all these nice recipes. i’ll be browsing alot here 😉

  3. There’s no such thing as bad weather for a picnic, only bad clothes! Ooh I think I should try these on my blog at some poin, im always looking for for more picnic recipes- I’ve just done lots of posts about sausage rolls as, like These, forkless food really is the way forward for a picnic! (Although napkins are always good!).

  4. Oh and if i lived in new zealand and was eligible for your prize draw, my favourite picnic food is definitely a chorizo and black pudding sausage roll!

  5. We were just saying that this is going to be the year of the picnic! These hand pies do look like the perfect picnic food. I’m going to bookmark your Moroccan chicken hand pies, they look amazing.

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