Sunday, April 25, 2010

May I present...

So, apricot chicken is one of my all time favourite home-foods. I'd say 'dinners', but since I'm bad at actually having dinner at dinnertime and frequently eat this for breakfast, we'll go with foods. Foods is good.

Anyway, it's not just my favourite 'cause it tastes awesome (and it does taste awesome), but 'cause it's cost-efficient in many ways. I'm cheap, and pretty much always buy meat on special (and in bulk-ish amounts), and on top of the actual money cost efficiency going on here, this doesn't take long to prepare, and is basically a one-pot meal. It's also an incredibly easy way to feed quite a few people - the amounts in this recipe easily feed 6, and the last time that happened we still had plenty of leftovers (mmm, breakfast chicken). Anyway, this is how I do it:

Take enough chicken for the number of people you're going to feed. I prefer thigh fillets for this, but it's up to you. If you're using thigh fillets, chop 'em in half. Season some plain flour with whatever you like (my seasoning tends to be salt, pepper, cayenne, sage, basil), and coat the chicken pieces. Grab some veggies (enough to balance out the meal - I tend to use carrots & parsnips, root veggies seem to work best) and chop into sticks. Slice an onion and some garlic. Layer it all in a casserole dish, and cover it with apricot nectar. Or you can go half & half chicken stock / nectar, but straight apricot is very tasty. Put the lid on the pot (or just cover with foil) and stick it in the oven. Cooking time will depend on the amount you're making, but it'll take at least 45 minutes. The flour you coated the chicken in will cook into the liquid, & it thickens up into a really tasty sauce; the chicken won't dry out, and the veggies add some variation. You could even stir some bok choy or other suitable greens through and let it stand for a couple of minutes before serving, just to up the veggie content a bit.

I serve it with rice, but if you've used lots of substantial vegetables, you might not need the accompaniment. Rice does help with the sauce, though.

If you only want to make enough for, say, one or two meals, you can stick it in a loaf tin, cover with foil and cook - this doesn't have to produce a massive amount of food. On the other hand, it's an awesomely easy way to produce a massive amount of food. If you've got a slow-cooker, you could set this to cook overnight or before you leave for work, or whatever.

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