If you don't have fresh apricots, you can use a combo of dried pitted apricots and apricot jam. Chop up about a dozen dried apricots and add them, with a half cup of apricot jam, to the stock in step 4 (skipping steps 1 and 5).
1 1/2 pounds apricots, roughly chopped, pits removed and discarded or 12 dried apricots plus 1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup sugar (skip if you are using dried apricots)
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thirds (two pieces per person)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter (you can substitute olive oil)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cups chicken stock or broth or white wine
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or tarragon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons Tabasco or other hot sauce
YIELD: 6 servings
COURSE: Chicken & Other Birds
- Place the chopped apricots in a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and the vinegar. Let sit while you brown the chicken in the next step.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place chicken pieces in the pan, without crowding the pan, and brown them on each side. As the chicken cooks, sprinkle salt over it. Once the chicken is browned, remove the pieces from the pan to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion until it begins to brown. As the onion cooks and releases moisture, use a flat edged spatula or wooden spoon to scrape off the browned bits from the chicken (called fond) from the bottom of the pan.
- Once the onions have browned a bit, add the chicken stock and lower the heat to medium.
- Put about 2/3 of the apricots, along with any juice they have given up, into a blender and blend into a purée. Pour the purée into the pan with the chicken stock and onions.
- Add the cinnamon, rosemary and Tabasco and taste. You may need to add some salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and gently simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- When you are ready to serve, put the chicken and the remaining apricot pieces into the pan and simmer gently for 2 minutes.
- Serve hot with rice or pasta