Recently I made apricot chicken for Sunday dinner and it proved to be quite popular.
It's such an easy recipe, nothing fancy but yummy. However, it has nothing to do with the old-fashioned recipe that uses French onion soup powder and canned apricots. I first used fresh apricots which work as well but dried ones are more my taste and available all year round.
I love the sweetness through the dried apricots and the crunch through roasted almonds.
Ras el Hanout, a Moroccan spice blend adds a nice warmth to it, perfect for autumn weather (that inspiration I took from Janelle Bloom's cookbook). Ras el hanout translates as "head of the shop" and implies the blend uses only the best spices the seller has to offer. Depending on where its purchased the blend of spices will vary though.
Mine is from Herbie's in Sydney and it lists Paprika, Cumin, Ginger, Coriander Seed, Cassia, Turmeric, Fennel Seed,
Allspice, Cardamom Green, Dill Seed, Galangal, Nutmeg, Orris root, Bay
Leaves, Caraway Seed, Cayenne, Cloves, Mace, Black Pepper, Brown
Cardamom, Whole Kashmiri Saffron Stigma. What an extensive list and it smells truly amazing.
Apricot chicken recipe
1 kg chicken boneless chicken thighs, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons Moroccan spice blend such as Ras el Hanout
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup apricot nectar
40g dried apricots, halved
2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Heat oil in a large casserole dish and fry the chicken on each side until golden. Remove from casserole and set aside. Saute onion and garlic on medium-low heat until softened. Add spice mix and fry until fragrant. Add stock, apricot nectar, apricots and chicken thighs and bring to the boil. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until chicken pieces are cooked through. Remove chicken thighs and boil sauce until slightly reduced. Add chicken and season.
Serve sprinkled with almonds and parsley.
Serve with brown rice or couscous.