Saturday, December 6, 2014

Catalan Chicken ~The Kitchen Witch~ Smothered Chicken with Bacon and Apricots

 As the holidays approach I love to entertain - and my favourite type of entertaining has always been the dinner party. I like to invite 6-8 guests and serve rustic family style meals around our large island table. By keeping it super casual the atmosphere is always relaxed and festive - lending itself to great story telling, board games, and lots of laughter!

One of the dishes I often serve at my holiday dinner parties is Catalan Chicken - a recipe I adapted from my catering days working for a chef who came from Spain.


 The chicken is sauteed to a golden brown, smothered in a bacon and brandy infused apricot pan sauce, and braised for another hour until tender. Serve on a platter sprinkled with toasted almonds and big bowls of rice or couscous on the side. And don't forget the Apricot Pan Sauce! This recipe makes lots of it. I put it into a nice jug and let my guests pour on as much as they want.

Learn how to cook this with me in the Kitchen Witch cottage or scroll down for the recipe!




Visit the Printable Recipe here: Catalan Chicken

Ingredients
  • 2/3 of a cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brandy 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 6 -8 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs 
  • salt and pepper to taste (app 1 tsp each)
  • 1/2 pound sliced bacon cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 large diced onions
  • 1 whole head of peeled garlic
  • 4 halved sweet Campari tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
Directions
  1. Soak 2/3 the dried chopped apricots in brandy for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large oven proof skillet heat the olive oil over medium high, season the chicken with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate and drain off the olive oil. 
  3. Add the sliced bacon to the pan and continue to saute over medium heat. 
  4. When it begins to crisp, drain all but one tbsp of fat from the pan and then the diced onions, head of peeled garlic and saute for about another 5 minutes until the onions begin to brown. 
  5. Stir in the dried apricots, campari tomatoes, and white wine. Add the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, chicken stock and the chicken back to the pan. Bring that to the boil, cover, and roast in a preheated 350 oven for one hour. 
  6. Serve with toasted sliced almonds with huge bowls of couscous or rice.  

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 


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