Recipe: Apricot Chicken Pilaf

by Celeste Heiter, Jul 24, 2010 | Destinations: Iran
Apricot Chicken Pilaf

Apricot Chicken Pilaf

Apricot Chicken Pilaf

This one-dish meal is a sweetly savory delight. The chicken, although simple, is moist and tender. Orange juice, lemon zest, and dried apricots bring their fruity essence to the dish, as whole cinnamon, cardamom pods, and bay leaves add their spicy aromas, with toasted almonds for texture.

2 ½ cups chicken stock
½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Rice Pilaf:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ cup slivered almonds. Lightly toasted
½ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1 lemon, zest only
Salt to taste

Whole Spices:
6 whole cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick, broken
2 bay leaves

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic, and rice and sauté until rice turns opaque and onion is tender. Add chicken stock mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, stir in almonds, lemon zest, and apricots, season with salt and set aside.

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless chicken breasts, skin removed
Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add chicken breasts, salt to taste, and brown on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

To Assemble the Dish:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Transfer rice mixture to a large casserole dish. Arrange chicken breasts, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, and bay leaves on top of rice. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Remove whole spices before serving.