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Apricot chicken [Nov. 2nd, 2015|12:31 pm]
Driving back across country, I spent my final night away from home with our very good friends Laura and Jeremiah, in their wonderful new house in the Chicago area. I arrived late and left early, but I did get a few hours with them in the evening.

And in the morning I was sent on my merry way with a wonderful treat: 8 jars of Laura's homemade jam. She's been doing a lot of canning this year, and has impressed and intimidated me with her urban homesteading while holding down a fulltime job that often takes her from home for weeks at a time. She's my hero now.

Anyway, when I got home I decided to make apricot chicken. Now, I've had apricot chicken that was too sweet, too cloying, the chicken sort of boiled in a sweet soup of apricot. That's not what I was looking for. So instead I came up with this:

My family pronounced it delicious, so I thought I'd share it with you. Like all my recipes, there are no measurements. I am a jazz cook, and my recipes are more like a fake book than actual sheet music.
Apricot chicken

5-6 bone-in chicken thighs
1 large onion
handful of shredded carrot
3 cloves garlic
8 oz. jar of apricot jam, preferably home made by a kitchen goddess
olive oil
salt & pepper
garlic powder
Dijon mustard
balsamic vinegar
4 cups cooked rice, salted

Preheat over to 375.

Chop the onion and garlic. Cover bottom of skillet with generous amount of olive oil. Saute the onions and shredded carrot until they are soft and onions are browned. Add garlic and continue sauteing until it browns slightly.

While onions and carrots are sauteing, generously coat the skin side of the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Think you've been generous enough? Unless you do this regularly I bet you haven't been generous enough. Go back over them one more time. Trust me.

Once the garlic is the color of an early summer tan, scoop the veggies out of the skillet, draining as much of the olive oil as possible, and set them aside in a small bowl. Turn up the heat and gently place the chicken thighs, skin down, in the skillet. If you haven't salt/pepper/garlic the thighs again, and cook them about 5 minutes, until the skin is browned. Turn them over and let them cook another 5 minutes.
In the meantime, spray an ovensafe pan with cooking spray and put your rice into it, smoothing it out to the corners. When the chicken is ready, place the pieces skin-side-up on the bed of rice. Return the skillet to the stovetop and turn off the heat.

Add the sauteed veggies and the apricot jam. Stir until smooth. Add a little Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar to taste. The balsamic should not be overwhelming, just enough to make the flavors pop. Spoon this glaze over the chicken thighs, being careful to cover them completely. This won't be a thick covering, but it should be enough to cover the thighs.

Bake for 35 minutes for a convection oven, 45 for a conventional. Serve.

We had ours with roasted asparagus. The leftovers didn't last until morning.


[User Picture]From: ba1126
2015-11-02 06:22 pm (UTC)
sounds WONDERFUL!! I must try it!!
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[User Picture]From: coeli
2015-11-02 08:11 pm (UTC)
Oh how gorgeous. Must get some good apricot preserves and try this!
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From: anonymousalex
2015-11-03 02:28 pm (UTC)
That sounds lovely . . . wondering what other types of jam it might work with.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-11-03 11:36 pm (UTC)
Marmalade, certainly. Blueberry.
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From: anonymousalex
2015-11-04 02:46 pm (UTC)
I meant more specifically what types that are in my closet. :-)

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-11-05 04:55 am (UTC)
Well, that I'm not going to be able to help you.
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From: anonymousalex
2015-11-05 02:32 pm (UTC)
I dunno, there's an awful lot of jam in that closet. :-)

Seriously, I think we had a little miscommunication. I was trying to describe my mental state (mulling over other flavor options), not request assistance. Not that I mind; I wouldn't have thought blueberry. I was thinking either citrus or other stone fruits.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2015-11-08 04:39 pm (UTC)
I am benefiting from your inability to rest. I can't complain too much, but I can be impressed.
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