Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots Recipe

Indulge in a fusion of Middle Eastern flavors with this recipe for Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots. Tender chicken breasts are coated with a rich blend of aromatic spices and baked to perfection, with sweet and tangy apricots adding a unique twist. This recipe is a delightful combination of flavors that will make your taste buds dance.

Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots Recipe
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Our recipe includes a mix of traditional and unique ingredients. Sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, and paprika are common in many kitchens and easy to find in any supermarket. However, dried apricots and almonds may not be staples in every home. Dried apricots are typically found in the dried fruit or health food section, while almonds can be located in the nut or snack aisle. Make sure to pick up these ingredients when shopping for this recipe.

Ingredients for Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots

Dried apricots: These add a sweet and chewy component to the dish. They balance the spiciness and give a unique flavor.

Water: Used to rehydrate the dried apricots and assist in creating a sauce.

Almonds: They provide a crunchy texture and enrich the dish with their nutty flavor.

Sesame seeds: These seeds add a subtle crunch and nutty taste to the dish.

Ground cumin: A warm and earthy spice that enhances the overall flavor.

Ground coriander: This spice offers a sweet and citrusy flavor.

Paprika: Adds a sweet, pungent flavor and rich, red color to the dish.

Dried oregano: Brings an earthy and mild sweet flavor to the dish.

Salt: Balances all the flavors.

Olive oil: Used for cooking and making the spice paste.

Lemon juice: Adds a tangy flavor which complements the sweetness of the apricots.

Chicken breasts: The main protein of the dish, which gets its flavor from the spice paste.

One reader, Harv Boswell says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This spiced chicken breasts with dried apricots recipe is a game-changer! The combination of savory spices and sweet apricots creates an explosion of flavors. The chicken turns out tender and juicy, and the apricots add a delightful touch. It's a must-try for anyone looking to impress with a unique and delicious dish.

Harv Boswell

Techniques Required for Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots

How to prepare the apricot mixture: Simmer the dried apricots in water until softened, then combine with the spice paste, oil, and lemon juice to create a flavorful mixture.

How to coat the chicken: Rub the chicken breasts with the spice paste, ensuring that the entire surface is evenly coated for maximum flavor.

How to toast almonds and sesame seeds: Place the almonds and sesame seeds in the oven until they begin to brown, enhancing their nutty flavor and aroma.

How to check for doneness: Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, indicating that it is fully cooked.

How to spoon the fat from the pan: Use a spoon to carefully remove excess fat from the pan before serving the chicken.

How to serve with accompaniments: Consider serving the spiced chicken with steamed rice or roasted potatoes for a complete and satisfying meal.

How To Make Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots

These chicken breasts are covered with ground almonds and spices, then baked together with apricots for a sweet and savory dinner dish.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour

Serves:

Ingredients

  • ¾cupdried apricots
  • cupswater
  • ½cupalmonds,sliced
  • 1cupsesame seeds
  • 2tbspground cumin
  • 2tbspground coriander
  • 2tbsppaprika
  • 2tbspdried oregano
  • salt
  • ¼cupolive oil
  • 2tbsplemon juice
  • lbsbone-in chicken breasts

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. In a small saucepan, combine the apricots and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and then simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Toast the almonds and sesame seeds in the oven for about 2 minutes until just beginning to brown.

  4. Transfer ⅓ cup of the almonds and ¼ cup of the sesame seeds to a blender; pulverize with the cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, and ½ teaspoon salt.

  5. Put the mixture in a small bowl; stir in the oil and lemon juice to make a paste. Stir half of the paste into the apricots and water.

  6. Put the chicken breasts in a small roasting pan, skin-side up, and coat with the remaining paste.

  7. Pour the apricot mixture around the chicken.

  8. Cook in the lower third of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until done. If the chicken seems to be browning too quickly, cover the pan with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

  9. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Spoon the fat from the pan.

  10. Serve the chicken topped with apricots and any pan juices.

  11. Sprinkle the remaining almonds and sesame seeds overall.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 960.65kcal
  • Fat: 65.66g
  • Saturated Fat: 12.01g
  • Trans Fat: 0.27g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 32.84g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 16.91g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.66g
  • Fiber: 11.47g
  • Sugar: 14.58g
  • Protein: 65.67g
  • Cholesterol: 163.29mg
  • Sodium: 1055.29mg
  • Calcium: 521.75mg
  • Potassium: 1333.97mg
  • Iron: 12.20mg
  • Vitamin A: 192.05µg
  • Vitamin C: 4.02mg

Helpful Technique for Making Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots

When toasting your almonds and sesame seeds, keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly due to their high oil content. Stir them occasionally to ensure even toasting. This will enhance their flavor and give your dish a delightful crunch.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Spiced Chicken Dish

Prep ahead: Prepare the spice paste and soak the apricots in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use a food processor: Utilize a food processor to quickly blend the spice paste, saving time and effort.

Multi-task: While the chicken is roasting, use the time to prepare the accompanying side dishes or set the table.

Buy pre-sliced almonds: Opt for pre-sliced almonds to skip the step of toasting and slicing them, saving valuable time.

Marinate in advance: Marinate the chicken with the spice paste and apricot mixture ahead of time for enhanced flavor and quicker meal prep.

Invest in a good knife: A sharp, quality knife can significantly reduce prep time when slicing and dicing ingredients.

Organize ingredients: Prior to cooking, organize all ingredients and tools to ensure a smooth and efficient cooking process.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a single roasting pan for both the chicken and side dishes to minimize cleanup and save time.

Batch cooking: Double the recipe and freeze the extra portions for future quick and convenient meals.

Pre-cut chicken: Purchase pre-cut chicken breasts to eliminate the need for additional preparation time.

Substitute Ingredients For Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots Recipe

  • dried apricots - Substitute with dried figs: Dried figs have a similar sweet and chewy texture, and they will provide a delicious fruity flavor to the dish.

  • almonds - Substitute with cashews: Cashews have a similar creamy texture and nutty flavor, which will work well in this recipe.

  • sesame seeds - Substitute with sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds can provide a similar nutty flavor and crunch to the dish.

  • ground cumin - Substitute with ground turmeric: Ground turmeric will add a warm, earthy flavor similar to cumin and provide a vibrant color to the dish.

  • ground coriander - Substitute with ground cardamom: Ground cardamom has a citrusy, floral flavor that can complement the dish similarly to coriander.

  • paprika - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika will add a rich, smoky flavor to the dish, enhancing the overall depth of the spices.

  • dried oregano - Substitute with dried thyme: Dried thyme has a similar earthy and slightly floral flavor that can work well in place of oregano.

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • lemon juice - Substitute with lime juice: Lime juice can provide a similar level of acidity and citrusy flavor to the dish.

  • bone-in chicken breasts - Substitute with bone-in turkey breasts: Turkey breasts can be a suitable alternative, offering a similar texture and flavor when prepared with the same spices and cooking method.

Presenting Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots

  1. Elevate the chicken breasts: Carefully arrange the cooked chicken breasts on the plate, ensuring they are positioned elegantly and with precision.

  2. Garnish with toasted almonds and sesame seeds: Sprinkle the toasted almonds and sesame seeds over the chicken, ensuring an even distribution for a visually appealing presentation.

  3. Arrange the apricots artistically: Strategically place the cooked apricots around the chicken, creating a visually stunning arrangement that showcases the vibrant colors of the dish.

  4. Drizzle with the pan juices: Artfully drizzle the flavorful pan juices over the chicken and apricots, adding a glossy finish to the dish and enhancing its visual appeal.

  5. Add a touch of fresh herbs: Garnish the dish with a few sprigs of fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, to provide a pop of color and a hint of freshness.

  6. Serve on a sophisticated plating: Choose a sophisticated and elegant plate to present the dish, ensuring that it complements the colors and textures of the spiced chicken breasts with dried apricots.

Essential Tools for Making This Spiced Chicken Recipe

  • Small saucepan: Used for heating and simmering the apricots and water.
  • Oven: Used for toasting the almonds and sesame seeds and for roasting the chicken breasts.
  • Blender: Used for pulverizing the almonds, sesame seeds, and spices to make the spice paste.
  • Small roasting pan: Used for roasting the chicken breasts and holding the apricot mixture.
  • Aluminum foil: Used for covering the roasting pan to prevent the chicken from browning too quickly.

Storing and Freezing Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots

  • Let the chicken breasts cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • If you want to freeze the spiced chicken breasts, wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then, place the wrapped chicken in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
  • Frozen chicken breasts can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer. When you're ready to enjoy them, thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • To reheat the spiced chicken breasts, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil to prevent it from drying out. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • If you have leftover apricot sauce, store it separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat the sauce in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
  • For the best flavor and texture, consume the reheated spiced chicken breasts and apricot sauce within a day or two of refrigerating or freezing.

How To Reheat Leftover Spiced Chicken Breasts

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). This temperature is ideal for reheating the chicken without drying it out or overcooking it.

  • Place the leftover spiced chicken breasts in an oven-safe dish or roasting pan. If you have any remaining apricot mixture or pan juices, pour them over the chicken to help keep it moist during reheating.

  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil. This will help prevent the chicken from drying out and will also help to distribute the heat evenly.

  • Place the covered dish in the preheated oven and reheat for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts and how cold they were when you started reheating them.

  • If you prefer a crispier skin on your reheated chicken, remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of reheating. This will allow the skin to crisp up without overcooking the meat.

  • Once the chicken is heated through, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and tender dish.

  • If you have any leftover almonds and sesame seeds, you can sprinkle them over the reheated chicken for added texture and flavor.

  • Serve the reheated spiced chicken breasts with dried apricots with your choice of sides, such as steamed rice or roasted potatoes, and enjoy your delicious leftovers!

Interesting Fact About Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots

Apricots are a great source of dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. They are also rich in vitamin A and C, making them a nutritious addition to this spiced chicken dish.

Is This Spiced Chicken Recipe Budget-Friendly for Home Cooking?

The cost-effectiveness of this spiced chicken breasts with dried apricots recipe is quite favorable. The use of affordable ingredients like chicken breasts, dried apricots, and almonds makes it budget-friendly. The dish offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures, earning a solid 8/10 rating. The approximate cost for a household of four people is around $20, making it an economical yet impressive choice for a family meal.

Is This Spiced Chicken Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

The spiced chicken breasts with dried apricots recipe is a flavorful and aromatic dish that incorporates a variety of spices and ingredients. While it does have some healthy components, there are areas where the recipe could be improved to make it more nutritious:

  • The recipe uses bone-in chicken breasts, which are a good source of lean protein. However, the skin should be removed to reduce the overall fat content.
  • Dried apricots provide a good source of fiber and vitamins, but they also contain a significant amount of natural sugars.
  • Almonds and sesame seeds offer healthy fats, protein, and fiber, but the recipe calls for a large quantity, which could increase the calorie count.
  • The use of olive oil is a healthy choice, but the amount could be reduced to lower the overall fat content.
  • The recipe lacks vegetables, which are essential for a balanced and nutritious meal.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Remove the skin from the chicken breasts to reduce the fat content
  • Reduce the amount of almonds and sesame seeds to lower the calorie count
  • Use a smaller amount of olive oil or replace it with a low-fat cooking spray
  • Add vegetables to the dish, such as bell peppers, zucchini, or carrots, to increase the fiber and nutrient content
  • Serve the chicken with a side of steamed or roasted vegetables instead of rice or potatoes to create a more balanced meal
  • Reduce the amount of dried apricots or replace them with fresh apricots to lower the sugar content

Editor's Opinion on Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots

The combination of spiced chicken breasts with dried apricots in this recipe creates a delightful blend of savory and sweet flavors. The use of almonds and sesame seeds adds a satisfying crunch, while the blend of spices infuses the dish with aromatic depth. The cooking method ensures the chicken remains tender and juicy, and the apricot mixture provides a luscious, fruity accompaniment. The suggested menu pairings and wine recommendations demonstrate a thoughtful approach to creating a well-rounded dining experience. Overall, this recipe offers a harmonious balance of flavors and textures, making it a delightful choice for a special meal.

Enhance Your Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Steamed Rice: Fluffy jasmine rice infused with a hint of garlic and topped with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro
Roasted Potatoes: Crispy baby potatoes seasoned with rosemary and sea salt, served with a side of tangy garlic aioli
Mixed Green Salad: A refreshing medley of baby spinach, arugula, and watercress tossed in a zesty lemon vinaigrette and garnished with shaved Parmesan and toasted pine nuts

Similar Recipes to Try Instead of Spiced Chicken Breasts

Savory Beef Stew: This hearty beef stew is perfect for a cozy night in. Packed with tender beef, carrots, and potatoes, it's a comforting and satisfying meal.
Citrus Grilled Salmon: This zesty grilled salmon is bursting with flavor. The tangy citrus marinade pairs perfectly with the smoky char from the grill, creating a delicious and healthy dish.
Mango Coconut Panna Cotta: Indulge in this creamy and tropical dessert. The smooth panna cotta is infused with sweet mango and coconut flavors, making it a refreshing and delightful treat.
Spicy Lentil Soup: Warm up with a bowl of this flavorful and nutritious lentil soup. Packed with spices and hearty vegetables, it's a satisfying and comforting dish for any occasion.
Honey Garlic Glazed Pork Chops: These succulent pork chops are coated in a sticky honey garlic glaze that caramelizes beautifully when grilled. It's a sweet and savory dish that's sure to impress.

Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with Spiced Chicken Breasts

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a rich mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. Bake until golden and bubbly for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil: Elevate a classic appetizer by topping crispy, toasted bread with a vibrant mixture of ripe tomatoes, fragrant basil, and tangy balsamic glaze. This refreshing dish is perfect for a light and flavorful start to any meal.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth after a savory meal.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful and refreshing dessert option. It's a light and fruity way to end your meal on a high note.

Why trust this Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures, ensuring a tantalizing dining experience. The combination of dried apricots and almonds creates a harmonious balance of sweetness and nuttiness, while the aromatic blend of cumin, coriander, and paprika infuses the dish with rich, warm undertones. The use of sesame seeds adds a delightful crunch, enhancing the overall sensory experience. The incorporation of lemon juice and olive oil not only elevates the dish's flavors but also ensures a moist and succulent texture for the chicken breasts. This recipe promises a delightful culinary journey that will undoubtedly impress and satisfy.

Want to share your experience with this Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots Recipe? Head over to the Recipe Sharing forum and join the discussion!
FAQ:
Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?
Yes, you can definitely use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts for this recipe. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly, as thighs may require a slightly longer cooking time.
Can I substitute the almonds with another type of nut?
Absolutely! You can substitute almonds with other nuts like cashews, walnuts, or pistachios based on your preference or dietary restrictions. Just make sure to adjust for any potential differences in flavor and texture.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the apricot mixture and the spice paste ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator. When you're ready to cook, simply coat the chicken with the spice paste, add the apricot mixture, and then bake according to the recipe instructions.
Can I use fresh apricots instead of dried apricots?
While dried apricots are recommended for this recipe due to their concentrated flavor, you can use fresh apricots if they are in season. Just be aware that the flavor and texture may be slightly different, so you may need to adjust the sweetness and cooking time accordingly.
Can I use boneless chicken breasts for this recipe?
Yes, you can use boneless chicken breasts if you prefer. Just keep in mind that boneless breasts may cook a bit faster, so be sure to adjust the cooking time to prevent them from drying out.

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