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Apricot Chicken with Almonds

April 15, 2011

While many of the main course recipes in Gourmet Today take more advance preparation than most people have time for during the week, this chicken recipe jumped out at me a few nights ago because the total time listed was only 30 minutes. The sauce cooks on the stovetop while the chicken undergoes its initial roasting and while the almonds toast, so everything is ready to be combined at the same time for the final roasting in the oven. The combination of sweet and savory flavors from the apricot preserves, soy sauce, and mustard is lovely, and the toasted almonds add a nice crunch to each bite. A simple side salad or green beans makes a great accompaniment along with couscous or rice.

Apricot chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2  cup apricot preserves
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1  tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1  tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Put a rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 13- by 9-inch flameproof (such as Pyrex) baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle chicken all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and arrange at least 1/4 inch apart in baking dish. Roast for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toast almonds in a small baking pan on another rack in oven, stirring twice, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Combine apricot preserves, soy sauce, mustard, butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until preserves are melted.
  5. Pour sauce over chicken and continue to roast until just cooked through, about 10 minutes more.
  6. Turn on broiler. Broil chicken 4 to 5 inches from heat, basting once, until glazed and browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Serve sprinkled with almonds.

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