Apricot Chicken with Almonds

September 8th, 2013

I am alone this week.  What a change from the full house that we had last week.  Let me explain the circumstances.  The family had to leave on Tuesday.  But David also left on Tuesday.  He is riding his motorcycle to Michigan and beyond.  Yes see, I have a 50th class reunion on September 14th in my hometown of Dowagiac, Michigan.  David decided that this would be a good opportunity for him to ride his bike around Lake Superior.  So David, one friend from here, and one of my classmates from Michigan are on a Lake Superior odyssey which will take them into Canada and the UP of Michigan as they round that majestic body or water.  He will get back to our hometown in time for the reunion.

The quiet time has been both good and disconcerting.  It is hard to bid farewell to a house full of loved ones with active kiddos.  When your spouse leaves too the silence can be deafening. But it hasn’t been hard to fill the time.  The good part has been the time spent reading on the sleeping porch while listening to the lapping water, bird calls and scurrying squirrels gathering nuts for winter.  That has been very relaxing and a reminder of why I love the lake so much.  The rest of the time has been devoted to putting the house back in order, cleaning the refrigerator and actually doing some cooking.  Not only do I have to eat, but I also have to post recipes if I want to stay active on my blog.  Blogging has always been a relaxing creative outlet for me.  And it seems to be easier as a solitary pursuit.

I normally would have made this easy chicken recipe in the late afternoon so that we could have it for dinner.  But with David away, I made it at 1:00 o’clock so that I could take advantage of the natural light for photography purposes.  I just reheated  one of the breast pieces for my dinner later.  The rest will be lunches and dinners to come.

Who said cooking for one has to be a chore?  This recipe came from Gourmet Magazine.  It is hard to believe that something so quick and easy could be so good.  The combination of grainy mustard, apricot preserves, soy sauce and almonds makes simple chicken breasts dazzle.  Served with a simple wild rice blend and green beans, I ate well indeed.  With one week to go before the reunion do you think I have time to diet?  Probably not.

APRICOT CHICKEN WITH ALMONDS (Adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

4 (6-oz) skinless boneless chicken breast halves (I used 6 small breasts)
5/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the breasts without crowding.

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Arrange in baking dish and Bake for 10 minutes.

While chicken bakes, toast almonds in a small baking pan in oven stirring twice, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook apricot preserves, soy sauce, mustard, butter, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until preserves are melted.  Pour sauce over chicken and continue to bake until chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes more.

Turn on broiler and broil chicken 4 to 5 inches from heat, basting once, until chicken is glazed and browned in spots, about 3 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with almonds.

Printable recipe

16 responses to “Apricot Chicken with Almonds”

  1. Angie says:

    I love that sweet peppery apricot gravy! The chicken breast looks so tender and succulent. An excellent protein loaded dish.

  2. Larry says:

    You make such appealing presentations Penny

  3. Penny says:

    That looks good! Enjoy your quiet time and have fun at your reunion. We need to get together when you get back.

  4. Darla says:

    This looks delicious, but today is my fasting day, so I should not look at food blogs or watch the cooking channel. You do have time to shed a few lbs before the reunion. I have lost 4 lbs in 6 days with intermittent fasting and feel great. I spoke with the nutritionist at our clinic and he feels it is an excellent way to lose weight and lower BP, cholesterol and blood sugar. Thanks again for our wonderful long weekend at your lovely Lake House. There is nothing better than being with a loving family, but solitude is nice also. Enjoy your reunion and travel safely!

  5. Barbara Williams says:

    That’s a beautiful photo, Penny, and I bet as delicious tasting as it looks. I do love apricots!
    You and I appear to be from towns in Michigan than someone would have to Google! Mine was Algonac.

  6. Tv Food and Drink says:

    “I made it at 1:00 o’clock so that I could take advantage of the natural light for photography purposes.” – you are SUCH a food blogger!

  7. Catherine Pappas says:

    Dear Penny, Enjoy your time. Relax and recharge. I hope your reunion will be wonderful.
    I love listen to the birds and crickets too. I think it is such a blessing.
    The chicken sounds very good and will make leftovers for salad.
    Blessings dear and enjoy. Catherine xo

  8. Cuisinedeprovence says:


  9. Marcia Smith says:

    Funny I’m alone too!!! We head back to DC in a week- you are such a conscientious blogger! Finally updated today 2 blog posts! I am the worst- much rather have fun and eat! I’m sad the summer is over – it was super busy and fun but back to blogging – cooking and fall activities!! Have a fun reunion! I love to go to ours!!

  10. Lea Ann says:

    Did you say whole grain mustard? I’ve got to give this one a try. And so easy. Love your presentation Penny. Enjoy your quiet time.

  11. Chris says:

    Love this chicken, Penny! Great color and it sounds like it would be so good.

  12. Emily says:

    making this right now…didn’t have apricot, so trying it with the peach we do have! Hopefully flavor is still good.

  13. Emily says:

    so, we did make this the other day, but with peach preserves and no almonds. And also had to sub dijon for the whole grain. It was delicious! We will definitely make again, and make extra sauce I think! We only made the subs because that’s what we had on hand at the time. But I look forward to making your exact recipe soon!

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