Chicken with apricots and almonds

Chicken with apricots and almonds

Mahmudiye

By
From
Istanbul
Serves
4
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This is an old Ottoman dish – you can tell because of the number of different spices, and the addition of dried fruit and nuts – which has an incredible, intense fragrance as it cooks. I like to make it with orzo, a barley grain-shaped pasta, known as arpa şehriye in Turkey. However, you can omit the orzo and serve it with rice or pilaf on the side instead. I find that chicken leg or thigh meat is tastiest, but you can also use breast. As it is quite rich and almost sweet, a green salad with a sharp dressing is a nice accompaniment.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
60g stoned dried apricots
1 tablespoon currants
20g butter
1/4 onion, finely chopped
150g shallots, peeled but left whole
1/2 teaspoon salt
600g chicken thigh or leg, bones removed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
700ml hot chicken stock
50g flaked almonds
80g orzo

Method

  1. Soak the apricots and currants in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and slice each apricot into 2 or 3 pieces. Melt the butter in a large pan with a lid and add the chopped onion and whole shallots. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring, and allow to soften and slightly brown. Add the salt.
  2. Cut the chicken into 5 cm pieces, removing most of the skin. Add to the pan and brown gently. Once the chicken has taken on a golden colour all over, add the cinnamon, lemon juice and black pepper. Cook together for 5 minutes, then add the hot stock and dried fruits. Bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Check the chicken is tender – cook for a little longer if not. If there is a lot of liquid, reduce with the lid off. Toast the almonds very gently in a dry pan until just golden. Tip out of the pan immediately. Add the orzo to the chicken and cook for 3 minutes or until the pasta is just cooked. Serve scattered with the toasted almonds.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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