Rustic herbed apricot chicken

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 Chickens, cut into 8 pieces each, wing tips trimmed
¼ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
4 Garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dried thyme
2 tablespoons Dried tarragon
½ teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper
1 large Onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons All-purpose flour
2 cups Defatted chicken broth
1 cup Medium tawny port
1 tablespoon Red currant jelly
2 cups Dried apricots
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cooked noodles (opt)
1 tablespoon Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Marinating the chicken in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried thyme and tarragon add great depth to a rice sauce that's smoothed by just a hint of red currant jelly and enhanced with apricots and tawny port.

Be sure to use tawny port. With its beautiful amber color and slightly dry flavor, it compliments the apricots. Save your ruby port, which is sweeter and has a deep red wine color, for after dinner.

1. Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry.

2. In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup olive oil, chopped garlic, vinegar, thyme, tarragon and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the chicken, toss together well and marinate at room temperature for 2-3 hours or refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove chicken from marinade, scraping off any bits that might remain. Reserve marinade. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large, heavy casserole. Brown chicken in small batches over medium heat until golden, turning once or twice. Set finished pieces aside.

4. Add onion slices to casserole, reduce heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until they begin to brown. Toss onion slices with flour and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes longer.

5. Add broth, port wine and red currant jelly. Cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the apricots, reserved marinade and chicken.

6. Cook over low heat, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook for 20-30 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, serve with cooked noodles and garnish with chopped parsley.

Per serving (without noodles): 555 calories, 25 grams fat, 124 milligrams cholesterol.

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