Chicken with apricots and cumin

    Chicken with apricots and cumin

    18saves
    1hr5min


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    About this recipe: 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.

    Ingredients
    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 8 chicken thighs, about 450 g (1 lb) in total
    • 1 onion, sliced
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp ground coriander
    • 300 ml (10 fl oz) chicken stock
    • 3 carrots, halved crossways, then each half cut into 6–8 thick fingers
    • 1 bulb of fennel, halved lengthways, then cut crossways into slices
    • 300 g (10½ oz) ripe but firm apricots, stoned and quartered
    • salt and pepper
    • chopped fennel leaves from the bulb, or herb fennel, to garnish

    Method
    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and fry the chicken thighs for 5–10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan. Add the onion and garlic to the casserole and fry for 5 minutes or until soft and golden.
    2. Stir in all the spices and fry for 1 minute, then add the stock. Return the chicken to the casserole together with the carrots and fennel. Bring to the boil. Stir well, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Remove the lid. If there is too much liquid, boil to reduce it slightly.
    3. Add the apricots to the casserole and stir gently to mix. Simmer over a low heat for a further 5 minutes.
    4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the fennel leaves and serve with rice or potatoes.

    Some more ideas

    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.

    Plus points

    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.

    Each serving provides

    A * B6, C * B1, B2, folate, copper, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc

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