I was at Border's bookstore a little while back. Ole Sweetie-Pi headed to the Transportation section (he's a train brain, crazy mad over model and prototype steam trains) and naturally I head to the cookbook section. We have an agreement. I don't mention how many train related items he has and he doesn't breath one word about my cookbooks. It seems to work. Grins.
Anyway, I also checked out the discount section, and I saw a spinning rack of $2.99 cookbooks. My heart thumped wildly at the possibilities. There were maybe 10 different titles, soft covered, about the size and thickness of a high quality magazine. One that caught my eye was Chicken Recipes Step by Step , no author listed, but published by Bay Publishers in Australia. I open the covers, peruse the pictures first (do you do that, too?) and then scanned the ingredient list of half a dozen recipes to make sure the recipes didn't contain ingredients that I'd never find in my little city. A quick scan revealed that the recipes were not gourmet quality but every single recipe seemed simple enough to do on a hectic work night and tasty enough to be satisfying. Home cooking at its simple best, I decided.
And that's when I noticed that the weights were all in metric. I have never been good at math, and metrics just throw me off entirely. But this is cooking (as opposed to baking which must have precise measurement conversion for the baked good to come out well), so I bought the books and did the best I could with the math.
1.5 kg chicken thighs (a little over 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon oil
120 g dried apricots (about 1/4 pound, or 1/2 cup) cut into strips **
1 1/2 cups apricot nectar (12 oz can)
40 g packet French onion soup mix (I just used a Lipton's packet, didn't measure)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
Trim the chicken of excess fat and sinew.
Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat the oil in a good sized pan and add the chicken. Cook the chicken, in batches if necessary, over medium high head until the chicken is browned. Remove chicken from pan and drain on paper towels. Discard any remaining oil or fat.
Return the chicken to the pan and all the remaining ingredients except the parsley. Mix well, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally until the chicken is tender and cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened.
Remove pan from heat and stir in the parsley.
**You can also use a large can of apricots in heavy syrup if you like.
This dish does not have what I would classify as a "big, in-your-mouth" flavor, but it's simple, very easy and delicious. I added a couple of sprinkles of dehydrated garlic pieces, and that was a nice addition, I think. You could probably add a little green or red pepper, but beyond that I probably won't tinker too much with the recipe. Sweetie-Pi made yummy noises, got seconds.
This one goes in our keeper file.