Blog » Apricot Chicken with Thai Jasmine Rice
I love pairing fruit with poultry and meat — it’s one of my favorite food combinations. A few years back, I found a recipe online for apricot chicken. The recipe without any modifications is great and works well. However, I always like to add my own touches.
Let’s beginning with the original recipe (from allrecipes.com, 2007):
12 chicken thighs
1 cup of French dressing
1 cup apricot preserves
1 (1 oz.) package of dry onion soup mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine jam, dressing, and soup mix. Put chicken in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour apricot mixture over chicken. Bake uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes.
1 (1 oz.) package of dry golden onion soup mix
3 pinches of freshly cracked black pepper
Several pinches of an all-purpose seasoning without MSG
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 cup more apricot preserve for basting
8 oz. dried apricots pieces
Follow instructions above for apricot mixture and substitute dry onion soup mix with golden onion soup mix (golden mix gives dish a better color). To apricot mixture, add the following: cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set mixture aside. Season chicken with all-purpose seasoning and pepper. Mix well. (I like the extra dimension this step adds to the dish.) Pour mixture over chicken and bake.
Remove chicken from oven with 10 minutes left and brush on apricot preserve. (Do not stop oven timer.) Return to oven and bake until timer sounds. Finish by garnishing with dried apricot slices.
Be careful with allspice as it has a strong flavor. The extra spices may sound strange, but they enhance the apricot flavor. For an extra punch, you could also add dried fennel seeds and ground ginger. Adding the extra apricot preserve to the chicken will give the dish a wonderful golden color.
I wanted to mimic the apricot flavors from the chicken so I chose jasmine rice. Originally from Thailand, jasmine rice is a long grain variety of rice with subtle flavors. One can really dress up this type of rice —it’s very versatile: great with fruit, desserts, coconut milk, and available in the ethnic section of any local grocery store.
I followed the directions on the back of the package for serving amount and cook time. To intensify the flavor of the rice, I used jasmine tea in lieu of plain water — use the same liquid measurement for the tea as you would with water. With 5 minutes left on the timer, I added tiny bits of dried apricot to the pot.
Couscous with mint and apricot would be a great substitute for jasmine rice.
I served this dish with iced jasmine green tea. Iced green tea would also work well. If you wanted a more sophisticated taste, Moscato wine is a great paring. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or comments.
What’s your favorite food pairing?