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.