Hands up if when making apricot chicken you reach for a trusty sachet of French onion soup mix? Truth be told, me too, but not anymore! I give you this version of the beautiful sauce-laden dish, with just the right amount of sweetness – made from scratch.
You can use whatever cut of chicken your family loves the most – drumsticks, thigh cutlets, breast or thigh fillets. I’ve gone with thigh fillets because a) that’s what my supermarket had, and b) I know where the best flavour is at. Served with couscous, rice or steamed greens, it’s a dish to be devoured by the whole family.
½ cup plain flour
8 chicken thigh fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large brown onion, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp Moroccan spice blend (or make your own, see note below)
405ml can apricot nectar
½ cup dried apricots
1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
small bunch of parsley
salt and pepper
To make your own Moroccan spice blend, mix 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, ½ teaspoon white pepper, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon allspice and ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric together.
- Place the flour into a medium-sized freezer bag and season with salt and pepper. Add two or three pieces of chicken to the bag and give a good shake so they are covered in flour. Shake off the excess flour and set the chicken aside. Repeat for all pieces.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large, deep, heavy-based pan over medium heat. Cook chicken in batches for a few minutes each side until golden. Transfer to a plate, cover and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for around five minutes or until tender. Sprinkle the Moroccan spice blend over the onion and stir.
- Add the apricot nectar. Bring the nectar mixture to the boil and reduce the heat to low.
- Return the chicken to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the apricots to the pan, pushing them into the sauce. Cook uncovered for another 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through and the sauce has thickened nicely.
- In the last five minutes of cooking time, make the couscous. Place the couscous in a heatproof bowl and cover with the boiling water. Cover and let it stand for five minutes or until the water has absorbed. With a fork, scrape gently over the top to separate the grains and transfer to a bowl or individual plates. Top with chicken, generous sauce and a sprinkle of parsley. Yum!
This recipe will serve five to six people, depending on the amount and cut of chicken used.
Make sure to browse our recipe archives for more great meal ideas and treats to try.