Chicken thighs are excellent in a casserole, being very tender and full of flavour. Fresh apricots and a bulb of fennel make good partners, especially when spiced up with cumin. Plain boiled rice, or saffron rice (see the recipe on page 74), would be a good accompaniment, as would boiled new potatoes or baked potatoes.
Most of the fat in chicken is contained in the skin, so removing the skin before cooking will reduce the calories per serving to 310 kcal and the fat content per serving to 16 g, of which 3 g is saturated fat. * For a different flavour, omit the ground cumin and coriander and add 8 tbsp black bean sauce at the end of step 3 and heat through. * Replace the apricots with 1 fresh mango, cut into slices or chunks. Sprinkle with fresh coriander instead of fennel leaves. * Use 1 can of apricot halves in natural juice, about 400 g, drained and cut in half, instead of fresh apricots.
Chicken is a good source of protein. * Both apricots and carrots provide some vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which gives them their distinctive colour, but carrots are by far the better source, providing about 20 times more of this nutrient per 100 g (3½ oz) than apricots. Vitamin A is essential for proper vision and increasingly valued for its role as an antioxidant, helping to prevent cancer and coronary heart disease.
A * B6, C * B1, B2, folate, copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc