Place an oven-safe braising pan (enameled cast iron works well) over high heat until very hot. Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil.
Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When oil is shimmering, place chicken in pan, skin side down, until golden brown, then turn and brown the other side, then transfer to a plate.
Add onion and ginger to pan and saute until onion softens and turns translucent. Add paprika and coriander and cook 1-2 minutes.
Place chicken back in pan and add water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook 40 minutes.
Remove chicken to a plate. Continue to simmer the sauce, uncovered, until it reduces by half, 12-15 minutes. Add cilantro and dates, and return chicken to pan. Squeeze lemon juice over the dish before serving.