This simple and delicious recipe for Apricot chicken is a treat for the taste buds. It’s quick and easy to cook ( as all my recipes are) for a midweek meal and looks impressive enough for formal entertaining.

Inspired by the beautiful flavours of North African tajines, the dish has a beautiful balance of salty, sweet and sour. The spices used are few but add wonderful depth of flavour and aroma to the dish. You can also slow cook it in a traditional tajine dish or clay pot when you have time and patience to feel romantic in the kitchen but any heavy bottomed, deep pan with a tight fitting lid would do just fine too. I believe in using the available resources, ingredients and utensils in the kitchen when it comes to experimenting with food so that not having something particular doesn’t stop us from trying out new things.

You can also use lamb for this dish but I love chicken for it’s versatility and quick cooking time. Potatoes add starch to the dish and make it a more filling and complete meal for me. You can add any other vegetables too that you fancy, carrots and peas would taste great too. Dried apricots make the sauce luscious, sweet and sticky…just the way it should be to coat the other ingredients in it’s golden glory.
Serve it with a bread of your choice or Moroccan style rice, which is how I love to eat it.

For Apricot Chicken :

1/2 kg chicken breasts, cut into big chunks or chicken thighs
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into big cubes
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup dried apricots, stones removed
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup olive or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons plain flour or corn starch
A small bunch coriander or parsley leaves for garnishing.

This Is What You Do :

Heat oil in a tagine, clay pot or heavy bottom deep pan.

Add onions, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Add chicken and potatoes, continue to fry till chicken is golden on the outside.

Add the spices and salt, add 2 cups of water.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid if you are not using the traditional tagine pan or clay pot. Let the stew simmer for 20 minutes.

When the meat is tender, potatoes done and the liquid reduced, add the apricots and vinegar, cover the pan again for 5 minutes.

Dilute plain flour in a little water to make a thin paste or use corn starch, add to the stew. Raise heat to medium. Cook uncovered and keep stirring till the sauce thickens and coats the pieces of chicken and apricots.

Garnish with coriander/parsley leaves.

Serve hot with Moroccan Mixed Nuts Rice

Serves 4

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