Monday, October 25, 2010

Apricot Chicken - or, The Yummiest Chicken Ever

Oh My God - it's been a month since I posted.  I just don't know what happened.  Well, other than the start of school for the girls and the start of a new teaching job, then Em's birthday and my [redacted]-year high school reunion.  I don't know why this all has to be so stressful, it just has and while I've been cooking and even taking pictures, I just haven't been able to carve out the time to write.

The funny thing is, I didn't take a picture of the yummiest chicken ever for this post - but since my kids LOVED it - (have even mentioned several times since they ate it how much they loved it) - I thought I'd better post this recipe before I forget what I did.

So, here's the story: Last Sunday I was thumbing through Better Homes and Gardens and there was this recipe for chicken with tomato and dried apricots and raisins which, I actually thought sounded kind of yucky, but which suddenly reminded me that apricots and soy sauce are a very tasty combination and I hadn't made my apricot chicken in a long time.

Smith and I left the kids at home and made a little date of going to the grocery store.  (That just sounds kind of sad, doesn't it - but it was actually fun!  And he only bought blue cheese - no weird condiments!  Yay Smith!)  I bought a pack of chicken breasts (bone in, skin on), a jar of apricot jelly, some raisins, could not find dried apricots - or fresh for that matter, but oh well.  Then, we went home and I spent a lovely Sunday afternoon cooking this up, sipping a glass of wine, and listening to Harry Shearer on NPR satirize all the wack-a-doodle politicians in this great country of ours.

Apricot Soy Chicken

4TBLSP Apricot Jam or Jelly
1 TBLSP Soy Sauce

2 -4 Chicken breasts (I bought 2 and cut them in half because no one in my family eats that much)
kosher salt to taste (probably 1-2 tsp)
pepper to taste (several grindings)
1 small onion
1 stalk of celery

1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup chicken stock
1TBSLP soy sauce

1TBLSP of all purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 450.

Find a nice bowl and spoon the Apricot Jam or jelly into it, followed by the soy sauce. Stir it up using a whisk.  It shouldn't be soupy - the jelly should keep it a bit thick.

Salt and pepper the chicken - both sides.  Then rub the jelly/soy mixture all over the chicken breasts, making sure you shove a bit of it up under the skin.  Chop up the onion and the celery and scatter them over the bottom of a 9x13 roasting pan.  Don't use anything too big - because next you are going to nestle the chicken on top of the onions and celery and if you use a pan that's too big, you chicken will sit next to the onions and celery not on top of it.   Stick the chicken in the oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the chicken stock into the bowl that you used previously to mix up the apricot/soy stuff.  Then, stir the raisins and the soy sauce into the chicken stock.  When the chicken has roasted for 15 minutes, turn the heat down to 200.  Pull your chicken out and pour this mixture over the whole thing.  Put it back into the oven for about 20 - 35 minutes, depending on how thick your chicken breasts are.  (If you have a thermometer, the chicken will be done at about 165) - take the chicken out of the oven and put the chicken on a plate and tent with foil.  Then, pour the sauce, onions, raisins and all, into a sauce pan, sprinkle in the flour and stir stir stir.  Let the sauce bubble away until it is reduced by a half -

When you are ready to serve, plate your chicken along with whatever frozen vegetable you've heated up at the last minute, and pour the sauce over the breast.  Your children will love you for this, guaranteed.


  1. Hey Kathy:
    You say to lower the heat to you mean 300? Unless using boneless chicken, I think that's probably too low. Let me know.

  2. Jennifer - I am actually following Harold McGee's advice about cooking meat, in this interview on Fresh Air - he says to cook the meat at a temperature slightly above the temperature you want it to end up Here's the link:

    You have to cook the meat much longer than you normally do - but it keeps it from drying out.

  3. In fact, McGee says that if you want the meat to finish at 150 - you should cook the meat at 155 (which seemed scary to me, no matter how much I trust Harold McGee) - so I went with 200. However, my next post will be on my Thanksgiving turkey - which I cooked for 2 hours at 275 degrees. It came out perfectly.


What are you having for dinner tonight?