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Chicken legs baked with apricots and garlic recipe

 

Chicken legs baked with apricots and garlic

Chicken legs baked with apricots and garlic

I was surprised to hear that despite the recession the number of people eating out has shot up in the UK. I’m not sure whether this is people visiting places like Pret for a snack or proper sit down eating out with napkins, main courses and hovering waiters.

Danny and I rarely eat out. Perhaps twice a year at most. It’s not that it’s expensive (although 35 quid for pizzas and a couple of beers was shocking) it’s because it’s often disappointing  in this neck of the woods.

So good food has to be cooked at home. Two things that I’ve learnt over the years is that it doesn’t have to be a palaver or cost a lot. If you buy smart – there is always meat on offer, or marked down for a quick sale you can eat well for far less than a price of a sandwich. A shopping list for meat is not a good move – much better to duck and dive with special offers.

Years ago when I started to get interested in cooking at home I used to take a few cookbooks in the car when I went shopping. I’d breeze into the shops – find what was on offer and then stroll out to the car to peruse the books for recipes.

Now, with a bit more experience I have a few standby ingredients in the larder that I know will eventually come into their own. One key ingredient is a small tin of apricots in fruit juice. This humble tin can transform, duck, pork, chicken and lamb into something really memorable. I’d like to try it with partridge too.

Danny found some chicken legs marked down at Waitrose and I decided to give them the duck in apricot sauce treatment. This dish is so easy and tastes very classy, as if you have spent hours tweaking the flavours. I baked it in Andrew (the highest rack and collar on) and served it with basmati rice and broccoli. Yummy.

Chicken legs baked with apricots and garlic (for two)

Ingredients:

2 chicken legs
1 small tin of apricots in fruit juice (not syrup as it would be too sweet)
4-6 chunky garlic cloves (skin on)
Half a teaspoon of dried thyme

Method:

Put the chicken legs in a small ovenproof dish (to fit snugly)
Sprinkle over the thyme
Pour over the apricots and juice and push the apricots in between the chicken legs
Press the garlic cloves around the legs
Cover the dish with a lid or a piece of foil
Bake for an hour at 210c/190c fan
Remove the foil and bake for a further hour until the legs are nicely browned and the flesh tender
Liquidise or mash the apricots and juice
Serve on warm place with rice or couscous, the baked garlic cloves and fresh green vegetables.


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8 Comments

  1. Sounds completely delicious! My only problem would be not eating the stock of tinned apricots in juice with a dollop of icecream in those naughty munchy moments!

  2. This sounds yummy. Anything with Apricots is delicious. I think I’d be working home made yoghurt into it somewhere!

  3. I so know what you mean about going out being a disappointment- we often eat way better at home. Thank goodness there is at least one good restaurant in our little town- I told the proprietor last night that we don’t eat out often, but when we do we usually come here because we know we’re going to get a good dinner. He beamed.

    Neither Steve nor I are big apricot fans, but if I’m going to add fruit to a poultry, it’s usually prunes. What started me down this path was a beautiful duck dish I had one night in San Francisco that had figs and prunes with it.

  4. Mmmm, this looks gorgeous. I should think it will freeze well and I’ve just added a few things to my shopping list! I’ll see what Sainsbury’s has to offer!
    Thank you

    J x

  5. That looks lovely, Fiona. I regularly make your duck version of this recipe and never once thought to try it with chicken.

  6. Michelle in NZ

    This looks so delicious and it made with just a few, simple (delicious) ingredients. Wow, easy to put together, contains ingredients that my dodgy innards like and will be scrumptious to eat – a “jackpot” recipe!

    Thank you dear Fiona, this will be wonderful accompanied by the beans I’m currently picking from container planting (getting a large handful each day from 4 dwarf bean plants).

    Sending care and warm huggles to you all, Michelle and Zebby, xxx and purrrrumbles

  7. Know what you mean about eating out. When we moved back to Spain we discovered, to my veggie girlfriend’s dismay, that vegetarian dishes can have tuna or ham in them…
    And since we make our own pizza (including the base) at home, whenever we have pizza out we can’t help thinking that we would’ve done better at home, and for a fraction of the cost, pizza these days is stupidly expensive.
    Javier

  8. Made this last night but just with drumsticks so halved both phases of the cooking. It was a huge hit!

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