Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Barbecued Chicken with Honey Apricot Glaze

Barbecued Chicken With Honey Apricot Glaze
From Simply in Season: 12 Months of Wine Country Cooking

Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinating time 2 hours to overnight in the fridge
Grill time: 12 minutes or so

Honey Apricot Marinade

1 cup dried apricots
1 ½ cups water
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
½ cup honey
¼ cup Dijon mustard
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, combine the apricots and water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until the apricots are soft and plump and water has reduced by half.

2. In the meantime, in a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the shallots. Sauté until the shallots are softened but not browned. Stir in the cooked apricots and their liquid. Remove skillet from heat.

3. In a food processor or blender, process the apricot mixture until smooth (Ruth’s Note: I used my immersion blender after pouring everything from the skillet back into the saucepan.) Add the vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently for 15 minutes or until thickened to the consistency of ketchup. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool completely.

4. Prepare the chicken breasts for the marinade. (Ruth’s Note: I place the breasts between sheets of waxed paper and using a mallet, flatten the thickest part of the breast so that the entire breast is even. This ensures more even cooking on the grill,..no dried edges.) The book calls for using a non-reactive pan and pouring just enough of the honey apricot glaze to cover, reserving the rest of the glaze/marinade in a separate container. I prefer to use large zip lock baggies, less mess and easier to massage the marinade into the chicken. Whatever your preference, refrigerate the chicken for at least 2 hours to overnight.

5. Preheat the barbecue (or this time my indoor grill pan). Remove the chicken breasts from the fridge, scraping off the marinade. Grill the chicken for about 12 minutes, turning half way through the cooking until nicely browned and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 160°F/71°C. (Ruth’s note: if you don’t have an instant read thermometer, I highly recommend it, but you could just cut into the chicken to make sure the meat is no longer pink. Juices should be clear. If you do this too often, though, all the juices will run out and you’ll be left with dried out chicken.)

6. Just before the chicken is done, remove the reserved honey-apricot glaze from the fridge and heat in a small saucepan. Arrange the chicken breasts on a platter and spoon some of the hot honey apricot glaze over or beside them.

This is a perfect summer supper served with a salad fresh from the garden. In the Fall or Winter, it’s perfect with roasted vegetables.

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