Friday, January 11, 2019

Apricot Chicken, Two Ways

I am a fan of the much maligned apricot chicken.  Sure, there is the 1970s version off the back of the French onion soup packet (and there is nothing wrong with that version IMHO), but there are  lots of other variations of apricot chicken. 

I have previously presented a version of apricot chicken that came from my friend Sandra's mum's New Zealand cookbook here.  Today, I am going to share two other ways of making apricot chicken that I have tried over the last few months.  Both versions include dried apricots, and there is no French onion soup in sight.

At the top of this post is pictured a version of apricot chicken by Katrina Meynink from the Good Food section of The Age published on 3 July 2018. This one is made on the stovetop and in the oven, uses various spices, and features both canned and dried apricots.

To make this version, you will need:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onionthinly sliced 
2 cloves garlic sliced (or a teaspoon of garlic from the tube)
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cinnamon quills (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
1 pinch saffron
1 bay leaf
1kg skinless chicken thighs, halved
1 cup apricot nectar
1 cup chicken stock
1 preserved lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup canned apricots, drained

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Put the oil in a six cup capacity stove-top and oven friendly casserole dish and once heated, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent.

Add the spices, saffron and bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds, then add the chicken pieces and cook for two minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned.  Add the rest of the ingredients, cover the casserole dish with a lid, and cook in the preheated oven for one hour.

Remove the lid from the casserole dish, stir and cook in the oven, uncovered, for another 10-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half, stirring to avoid burning the apricots.   

Serve with couscous or rice and vegetables. 

The second version of apricot chicken was made from a recipe on the Taste website. This version is made entirely on the stovetop using only dried apricots, not canned, and a commercial spice mix. For this version, you will need:

1/2 cup plain flour
8 chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
 2 crushed cloves garlic (or a teaspoon of garlic from the tube)
1 tablespoon Moroccan seasoning
405ml apricot nectar
1/2 cup dried apricots
salt and pepper to taste

Put the flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper.  Coat the chicken lightly in the flour, brushing off any excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frypan.  Cook the chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown, then set aside on a clean plate.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until softened.  Sprinkle in the Moroccan seasoning and stir to combine.  Add the apricot nectar to the pan, stir to combine, then bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat, put the chicken into the pan, and cover the pan with a lid and cook, covered for 20 minutes.

Add the dried apricots to the pan and cook, uncovered, for another 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.

Serve with rice or couscous  and vegetables.

1 comment:

ClaudiaMorningstar said...

Wow. I love chicken with morels.