Skinless chicken is just peachy with a touch of apricot


March 23, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

This contemporary dish credits its roots to Middle Eastern cuisine where meats and poultry are often combined with fruits. The creator of the dish, Lynn Fischer, the "Low Cholesterol Gourmet" (as seen on the Discovery Channel) has pared the fat without any loss of flavor. Two versions of apricots add lots of zest and the dried cherries (or cranberries) give the dish a very polished character. Consider this a company standby.

An effortless trick to removing skin and fat is to have your butcher do it, literally. Hand over a whole chicken when you first begin shopping and it should be streamlined and ready by the time you finish the shopping list. Boneless chicken breasts can be substituted or even boneless chicken thighs for a richer result. Buy 12 ounces to 1 pound if you are using boneless, skinless poultry and cut the initial cooking time to 15 to 20 minutes.

For the starch, there are wide noodles dotted with poppy seeds. Put a medium-size pot of water on to boil before beginning anything else. After the noodles have been cooked and drained, toss them with 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds and a little juice from the main dish.

Serve a mixed green leafy salad with the meal and your favorite salad dressing or a drizzle of vinegar and olive oil.

Your favorite frozen yogurt is always a winning dessert for such a fulfilling meal.

Items you have as staples are: onions, white wine, apricot preserves, lemon juice, cinnamon, turmeric, wide noodles, poppy seeds, salad dressing, or vinegar and olive oil, frozen yogurt of choice.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list: 1 chicken; 1 8-ounce can pitted apricots; 1/4 cup (about 2 ounces) dried apricots; 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries; fresh mint or parsley (if garnishing); leafy mixed salad greens.

Chicken and apricots

Serves 6

1 chicken, skinned, defatted and cut up

1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion

1/4 cup white wine or water

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 cup canned pitted apricot, drained

1/4 cup diced dried apricots

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 to 1/2 cup whole dried cranberries or dried tart cherries

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon Lite Salt (optional)


4 chopped and whole fresh mint or fresh lemon mint

chopped or whole parsley

In a large nonstick skillet, combine the chicken, onions and wine, mix in the apricot preserves, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until chicken is done. Garnish and serve immediately.


Apricot chicken

Poppy seed noodles

Leafy mixed green salad

Frozen low-fat yogurt

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