17 July 2010

Herbed chicken breasts with apricots

Yesterday for lunch I made the chicken with apricots that I mentioned a couple of days ago. I saw two recipes for such a combination earlier this week, on the same day. Both came in the regular series of e-mails I get from two cooking and food sites.

The first one, and the one I decided to make first, came from the French site Cuisine.tv. A couple of hours later, I got an e-mail from Elise's Simply Recipes blog with a completely different version of chicken with apricots. It was a funny coincidence, but then it is apricot season in Europe and North America.

Fresh apricots cooking in olive oil, water, and honey

Then I was down in the village for my haircut and I stopped in at the little superette down there to get some cheese. This time of year, the store puts produce in bins on tables outside the front door, and one of the bins was full of nice-looking apricots. I bought a couple of dozen.

Herbed chicken breasts and stewed apricots

The recipes calls for making a kind of pesto with fresh herbs, and we have plenty of those. I used basil, parsley, thyme, mint, and rosemary. Wash the herbs and then pluck the leaves off the stems. Process them in a blender or with a stick blender, adding three cloves of garlic and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Don't forget salt and pepper.

Slice the roasted chicken breasts and put them on a platter. They'd be good served just like this.

Rub or brush the pesto onto the chicken breasts and cook them uncovered in a 350ºF/180ºC oven for 30 to 35 minutes. The result would be a delicious chicken dish on its own.

But this recipe calls for a sauce of stewed apricots. Cut about a dozen apricots in half and remove the pits. In a saucepan, sauté a sliced onion in some olive oil. When then onion has softened, add the apricots with a couple of tablespoons of water or white wine, and a couple of tablespoons of honey. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Let the apricots cook down on medium low heat until they are cooked and the liquid is thickened.

I spooned the apricots and sauce right over the chicken in the serving dish.
You might want to serve it on the side for a neater presentation.

That's all there is to it. Slice the chicken breasts and place them on a serving platter. Pour some apricot sauce over all, or all around. The apricots are not sweet but tart, and they complement the herby roasted chicken breasts. Have some steamed couscous grain or rice on the side.

« À table ! », as they say.

If you read the French recipe, you'll see that mine is slightly different. I added onion and cayenne to the apricot sauce, for example. We also served it topped with some toasted almonds.
Recognize the bookmark?

P.S. The book titled Célestine has a bookmark in it with the Eiffel Tower on it. I think whoever left the book here — probably Evelyn, I'm guessing — might have left the bookmark too. Here's a picture of it.


  1. That's my bookmark for sure;) I have that tour eiffel stamp. I'm glad you are enjoying the book, I remember that I did once I got into it.

  2. The chicken looks great. I saw that recipe on Simply Recipes and was going to e-mail you the link because I thought you would enjoy it. Obviously you did. :)

  3. Yum! (My parents got to see the tour de France leaving right from under their windows. My mother was disappointed that Armstrong is not in the lead).

  4. Nadege, I immediately thought of you when I put on the Tour this morning, and read on the info screen that it was starting in Rodez :)) How cool that your parents got to see it from their windows!

    Ken, that chicken looks fabulous! I might try it with peaches, since they are everywhere here right now :))


  5. Robb and I make a Moroccan dish with apricots. We love the Moroccan spices. You might like it. http://food-craze.blogspot.com/2008/09/moroccan-chicken-with-apricots.html

  6. Judy, I think this chicken would be good with peaches too.

    Cheryl, I'll be making Elise's recipe, plus the one that Starman posted a link to, over the next couple of months. I like the idea of using dried apricots in them.

    Starman, thank you for the link to that Moroccan-style recipe. I grabbed a copy of it. We too enjoy Moroccan spices in our food.

    Nadège, I wonder if the Tour will ever come through Saint-Aignan? I'd like to see it one day, just for the experience — but not enough to drive miles and stand along the side of the road for hours.

  7. This really looks yummy, will give it a try.

    We have seen the TDF twice, but this year our closest is the final time trial and just a bit too far. Diane

  8. We had this dish for diner last night with a bottle of Domaine de la Renoudie Rose that we bought in a vinibib in April. Both were delicious. Thanks for reccomending both.

  9. Diane, you are lucky to have seen the Tour twice. Our best chance was a year or two ago when it passed through Preuilly, but we didn't get there.

    Peter, thanks for letting me know. The Renaudie rosé is pretty good.


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