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Apricot-Balsamic Chicken

March 1, 2012

What? You say. Too fancy sounding for a kid to eat? That’s what you think. I made this dish last week and Simone had 3 servings. To be honest, I was a little annoyed because it meant Michael and I had to arm wrestle for the leftovers the next day.

The original recipe was posted by RecipeGirl, but it calls for pan frying the chicken which makes a big ol’ mess in my kitchen. So I modified it just slightly and baked in a casserole dish instead. This worked better for me since I paired it with some roasted yams so I could just use the oven for both dishes and time it perfectly (the yams take about 30-45 mins; the chicken about 30 mins depending on how much you make).

I would suggest baking the chicken with the lid on for half of your cooking time; just to allow the jam and vinegar to firm up a bit and caramelize more. Otherwise it’s very runny, but still just as tasty and delicious.

Here’s a look at how I put it all together before it went into the oven:

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Apricot-Balsamic Chicken

2 chicken breast cut into large chunks or strips

1 shallot finely cut

1 tsp oil (I used a combination of rice bran oil and coconut oil)

1/3 cup apricot jam (I LOVE the Safeway Select apricot jam)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (play around with this quantity a bit)

5-6 or a small handful of fresh sprigs of thyme (I’m too lazy to take leaves off so I just chuck these in whole then pull stems out after cooking)

S&P for seasoning

Directions

Since making dinner involves varies stop & go stages with me (out of necessity of course – tending to baby and restless 4 year old), I was able to put this together more efficiently than if I were to do it all at once. In advance, I drizzled my baking casserole dish with rice bran oil (or use olive) and then laid the chicken down. I sprinkled the chicken with salt & pepper to season it, added the thyme and the shallot.

I had to cover and refrigerate to go play chauffeur mom.

About an hour before dinner needed to be on the table, I turned the oven on to 350 degrees and put the yams in (poked with fork and let roast on a clay bake pan). I then made the rest of the sauce for the chicken – combined vinegar with jam, mixed well, then poured on top of chicken. I put this in the oven once the yams were close to half cooked.

As I said earlier, the chicken may take about 30 mins, keep an eye on it, then take the lid off once you’re about halfway done.

Before serving, remove the stems from the thyme. Oh, and I also served this up with whole wheat basmati one night (delicious) and Israeli couscous another night (also fantastic). A “nutty” grain goes well with this because it helps balance out all the sweetness from both the apricot sauce and the caramelized yams.

Go figure, last night when I made this Simone decide she wasn’t interested in dinner. What is it with kids and their hot-cold relationship with food! Oh well, she’s loved it before and will love it again. The good news: no wrestling my husband for leftovers tonight. 😉

Enjoy!

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