Nothing spells festivity like adding dried fruits or nuts to your food. Want to make leftover rice look fancy? Garnish the rice with fried raisins and cashews and turn it into a pulao. Birthday in the house? Jazz up that Ravo with fried charoli, almonds and cashews. Or, my all time favourite is to fancy up the super easy to make Sali Chicken with some dried jardaloo (apricots) to add a fancy touch of sweetness to the dish.
While researching chicken recipes a while ago, I came across a recipe that cooks the chicken in apple and orange juice. By doing so, it makes the chicken incredibly moist while also making it deliciously sticky. This felt like a great idea that I couldn’t wait to try out – all I needed was the perfect occasion.
That occasion came about in December when I wanted to make Bawa Groom something special for Christmas.
Having a business means his weekends are always booked and festivals and birthdays are inevitably celebrated on the Monday following the special day. This year I didn’t want to wait until a Monday to celebrate and decided that a late-night Christmas treat was in order.
Ofcourse, since it was a special occasion simply cooking the chicken in juice wouldn’t suffice and so I decided to add in some dried fruits to jazz it up. Just my luck of course that the pantry had nothing left (I used up all my fruits and nuts for the Christmas pud) except for a handful of leftover apricots and some cherries from a cherry cake experiment gone wrong. Magic happened when I threw these into the pan with my chicken and the result was this delicious Apricot & Cherry Chicken.
Trust me, once you make it you won’t want to wait for a special occasion to make it again!
Apricot & Cherry Chicken
- 2 kg chicken thighs skin on
- 4 tsp sambhar masala
- 4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp oregano flakes
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 100 ml oil
- 100 ml chicken stock or water
- 200 ml orange juice
- 200 ml apple juice
- 100 gram glace (or dried) cherries
- 100 gram orange apricots (dried)
- Marinate the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, sambhar masala and oregano flakes. Leave to marinate overnight ideally or for atleast 2 hours
- Slice the apricots and cherries finely.
- Heat a non-stick pan and add in the oil. When the oil is hot, add in the chicken thighs and cook until the skin is sealed and is lightly brown. Remove the thighs from the pan.
- In the same pan, add in the orange and apple juice and let it come to a simmer. Add in the chicken stock (don't use pre-packaged stock but rather the stock you have saved up from cooking chicken previously. If you don't have this then water will do fine) and mix well.
- Add in the chicken into the pan again along with the cherries and apricots.
- Mix well and cover the pan to cook the thighs. When the chicken is almost cooked, open the pan and mix well again cooking for another 6 -7 mins uncovered so as to form a thick gravy.
- Serve by itself with crusty bread or along with some roast vegetables and hung curd.