Here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: eat tasty food. like apricot chicken

Oh, and I guess it can be healthy too.  Can be.

Anyway, I was inspired by this chicken wing recipe and decided to play around with a sweet-and-spicy chicken recipe myself.  The store I stopped at this morning didn’t seem to have sriracha sauce specifically, so I went with the chili paste, which I’m sure I’ll be using pretty often because it smells great.

And let’s face it–we can all use a light meal now and again.  Especially in these heady days between Christmas, Christmas, more Christmas and New Year’s.  So this dish, bundled up with some fresh guacamole and a delicate side of lemony green beans (blanch green beans in boiling salted water, then drop into ice water, then pan-fry in a sauce of a tablespoon of butter, a half tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper and herbs) was a welcome breath of delicious, moist, tender air.  I know what you’re thinking: moist is a creepy word.  Yeah, it is.

But the chicken will make you forget all that.  The chicken is here to help.

Spicy Apricot Chicken
(Feeds–no wait—nourishes 2)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. apricot preserves
2 tbsps hot chili paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix together preserves and following ingredients in a bowl, incorporating thoroughly. I love chili paste; you can smell the heat as soon as you open the can; it’s fantastic.  Use a little less if you’re worried about spice, use a little more if you like things hotter.  Taste the apricot mixture and adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Place chicken breasts in a sealable plastic bag, add in the apricot mix.  Seal the bag and sort of knock the chicken breasts around in the preserves for a little bit, to get them nice and coated.  Refrigerate and let marinate for 8 hours, or at least two.

About 20 minutes before you begin cooking, take the bag with the chicken out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter, in a shallow bowl.  You want the meat to come up to room temperature.

Line tin foil in a small baking dish; add in chicken breasts and pull more foil over the top, creating a nice little delicious package.  Bake at 400F for 25-30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the chicken is skewered with a fork.  Remove the tin foil from on top of the chicken; place the chicken bag in the oven under the broiler and turn the broiler on.  Let continue cooking like that for about 5-8 more minutes or until the chicken has developed a nice crunchy crust.  Let sit about 5 minutes and serve.

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