Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Night Specials

Before Cooking

I know it appears like I am always making chicken with apricots. I do not plan it that way, it seems that a lot of recipes have chicken with apricots. I would guess other people must really like the combined flavors together. This is for sure on the list to make again. The chicken was so moist and tender with flavor bursting in each bite. Parchment packets make nice serving of juicy chicken topped with antioxidant-rich fruit. The packets can be assembled a few hours ahead of time and baked just before dinner. Aluminum foil can be used in place of the parchment paper, but I think it may stick and it would cook to fast and take away the moistness of the chicken. If sprayed with cooking spray first you might be ok. My imagination is working on lots of different versions of this fun dish. Perfect for a camp out, or a BBQ.
After cooking

Baked Chicken with Apricot Compote

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, peeled,halved vertically, and thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup fat- free, no-salt-added chicken broth
4 apricots, pitted and quatered, or 1/2 cup dried apricots, slivered
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 4 oz each
1/2 teaspoon steak seasoning
2 tablespoons, chopped walnut or almonds, toasted

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, coriander, ginger, and cumin. Cook until the onion are softened and just starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and apricots, bring to a simmer, and cook until the apricots are soft and the juices are reduced, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro over the apricots and set the mixture aside to cool.

Preheat the over to 375 F. Cut out four 12- inch squares of parchment paper. Fold a square in half to create a crease, than open it up. Place a chicken breast on one side of the crease. Repeat with the remaining breast and squares of paper. Sprinkle each with the steak seasoning. Top each chicken breast with on-fourth of the apricot compote. Sprinkle each with one-fourth of the nuts.

Fold the paper squares in half over the chicken breasts, and then tightly fold in the edges, crimping around all sides to seal the packets completely. Place the packets on a baking sheet.

Bake until the parchment packets are lightly browned and puffy, about 20 minutes. Transfer the packets to a warmed individual plates. To serve, slit each packet with an X and fold back the paper. Garnish with the cilantro and sprigs and serve immediately.


teresa said...

I'm actually making an apricot chicken soon too, so I'm happy to see how much you like it. I'm going to have to try it like this, with the compote, it looks DELISH!

Kristen said...

I've never had chicken with apricots before, this looks quite tasty

Barbara Bakes said...

Can you believe I've never had chicken with apricots before, nor cooked something wrapped in parchment paper. It sounds moist and delicious!

Penny said...

I've never paired chicken and apricots together either. Sounds like a good idea. Love your blog. Thanks for visiting mine.

Lynda said...

I really like the sound of the flavor combinations in this dish...this looks delicious, Nett!

Katy ~ said...

Lynette, I am a big time chicken with apricot fan!! Big YUM YUM

This recipe just looks soooo good. Definitely going to give it a try. It looks too good to pass up.

Mary said...

There are some flavor combinations that are so good they're worth repeating. Thus is one of them and all your recipes for the combo are terrific.

Denise said...

So funny, I bought all the stuff I need to make apricot chicken yesterday..great minds think

finsmom said...

This looks heavenly! The apricots sound delicious! So elegant :)