Source: Food and Wine Quick from Scratch

Spiced Chicken Breasts with Dried Apricots
A paste made of ground sesame seeds, almonds, cumin, coriander, and oregano gives both the chicken and the apricots delicious flavor.
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 47 minutes


3/4 cup dried apricots
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
1/3 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons dried oregano
pinch salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 Bone-in chicken breasts, (about 2 1/4 pounds in all)

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine the apricots and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and then simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Toast the almonds and sesame seeds in the oven until just beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer 1/3 cup of the almonds, and 1/4 cup of the sesame seeds to a blender, pulverize with the cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Put the mixture in a small bowl; Stir in the oil and lemon juice to make a paste. Stir half of the paste into the apricots and water.

Put the chicken breasts in a small roasting pan, skin-side up, and coat with the remaining paste. Pour the apricot mixture around the chicken. Cook in the lower third of the oven until done, 20 to 25 minutes. If the chicken seems to be browning too quickly, cover the pan with aluminum foil the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Transfer the chicken to a plate. Spoon the fat from the pan. Serve the chicken topped with apricots and any pan juices. Sprinkle the remaining almonds and sesame seeds over all.

Wine Recommendations: A red or white wine with low tannin, and plenty of fruit flavor will match the sweet, tangy apricots. For a red, pinot noir from Oregon would be a good choice; for a white, a pinot blanc from Alsace in France.