EXOTIC APRICOT CHICKEN
• 1 whole chicken (3 lb.)
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• garlic powder, to taste
• black pepper, to taste
• 1 can (16 oz.) apricot halves
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup rice
• 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 short cinnamon stick
• 1/2 cup pine nuts
• 1 tablespoon minced parsley
• 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
• Apricot Sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350°F
Remove excess fat from chicken. Rinse, dry and truss chicken. Sprinkle with thyme, garlic powder, and pepper. Place chicken in roasting pan; bake at 350°F 1 1/2 hours or until done, basting with pan juices. Drain apricots; reserve syrup. Chop 1/2 cup apricot halves, set aside.
Bring water to boil. Add rice, butter, salt and cinnamon stick. Cover and let simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in chopped apricots, pine nuts and parsley.
To serve, arrange rice in a ring on platter. Put chicken in the center. Arrange remaining apricot halves in ring at base of chicken. Sprinkle chicken with almonds. Serve sauce on the side.
Skim fat off pan drippings. Combine 3/4 cup reserved apricot syrup, 2 tablespoons pan drippings, 1 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar, 2 teaspoons each of cornstarch and cider vinegar. Cook, stirring over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens.
Apricot Producers of California - www.apricotproducers.com/