Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Apricot and Blueberry Glazed Chicken with Couscous and Vegetables

I had a few extra minutes to make dinner tonight, but I didn't have a lot of "special" ingredients. Since we were out of town last weekend, I haven't done a lot of shopping, and have been trying to really cook from the pantry. 


The inspiration for this recipe is really mundane -- I had 4 apricots, already over-ripe, that weren't going to make it 12 more hours.  Because it's been warm, I didn't want to bake anything, so I came up with this savory Glazed Chicken Recipe.  Why couscous and vegetables?  Well, if you remember my earlier post about the abundance of zucchini in my refrigerator, that pretty much sums it up. 


Oh, I almost forgot -- in all this talk of using up everything in my fridge, I never mentioned how absolutely delicious this meal turned out!!!  The kids loved the chicken, although there were some veggies left on their plates.  And my husband had two servings.



Apricot Glazed Chicken with Couscous

For the Glaze:
4 chopped, over-ripe apricots, roughly chopped
1/4 cup blueberries (optional)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4-1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1. In a small pot, combine sugar and water over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and starting to boil.
2. Add fruit and balsamic vinegar, bring to a rolling boil for 3 minutes, then simmer on low for 5-ish minutes. Take off heat.

For the Chicken:
3/4 - 1 1/2 lb chicken parts (I used boneless, skinless breasts, pounded thin)
3-4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (I used olive oil)

1. Pour oil in saute pan and turn burner to medium high.
2.  Dredge chicken in the pan-searing flour and place into pan when the oil is faintly smoking.
3. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, until brown, making sure chicken is cooked through.
4. Serve drizzled with the apricot glaze, with more on the side for dipping.

For the Couscous:
1 cup dried couscous
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup raisins or craisins

1. Cook Couscous per package directions.
2. Mix in dried fruit after all the water is absorbed.


Tips:
  • I served this with broiled (in the toaster oven!) zucchini, yellow squash, and onions -- all from my CSA box.  I chopped 'em up, drizzled with herbed olive oil, salt and pepper, and threw them in the toaster oven. Super easy! And the savory vegetables really balance the sweetness of the chicken
  • Mix a little of the glaze -- maybe 2 tbsp -- in with the couscous when it's done cooking. It'll pull everything together.
  • If the orginal is too sweet for you (I like sweet!), use more balsamic vinegar and less sugar in the glaze. 
  • Feel free to substitute any vegetables you have.  And they taste great grilled, as well. 

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