Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thai-inspired Apricot Chicken with Coconut Rice

Apricots are here. Yay. I've never really made anything savory with apricots. Actually I don't usually use apricots--I prefer peaches and nectarines. So this apricot thingy is a first for me. This particular dish is inspired by one of my favorite Thai dishes, mango chicken. Apricots work pretty well as a mango substitute. They're similarly sweet, though apricots do not have the mango tanginess, so a little bit of citrus was needed for the sauce.

The sauce was a variation on sweet and sour. I suspect it would work just as well with fried fish rather than chicken. The banana leaf is not necessary, but steamed with the coconut rice, it gave the rice just a bit more fragrance.



All measurements approximate.

Stuff for apricot sauce:
6 apricots sliced and peeled (peeling is not necessary, but I wanted a more uniform texture)
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
4 tbsp soy sauce (I used half and half fine Japanese soy sauce and Filipino soy sauce, but any soy sauce would do)
3 tbsp ginger chopped
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sake (rice wine vinegar is okay)
1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lime
zest of 1/2 lime

Stuff for chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced thinly into strips
1 cup white flour
5 tbsp clarified butter
1 red bell pepper sliced thinly

Stuff for coconut rice:
2 cups jasmine rice
1 1/2 cup water
1 can light coconut milk
1 tbsp salt
1 small banana leaf (4 inches by 2 inches)

Place all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and puree. The desired flavor is sweet, salty, sour and spicy all at once. If it's too spicy, squeeze some more lime in there and add a little sugar. More fish sauce counteracts sweetness (be careful!).

Prepare the rice in a rice cooker. Just toss in all the ingredients, placing the banana leaf into the pot last. If you do not have a rice cooker, use a pot with a heavy lid. You might want to oil the bottom of the pan lightly so that the rice doesn't stick. It should cook for about 15-20 minutes.

In a flat container, drag the chicken strips around the white flour until all of them are covered. Fry them over medium-hot in clarified butter until golden brown on both sides. This should take about 5-10 minutes per chicken strip. You don't have to use clarified butter, but doing so reduces risk of burning the butter so I prefer the clarified stuff. Once the chicken is fried, remove from heat.

In another pan, (or the pan you used to cook the chicken with the butter cleaned out), place the fried chicken strips along with the bell pepper slices. Pour the apricot sauce in with the chicken and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the bell pepper is soft.

Serve over the coconut rice.

This was my entry to the Leftover Queen's July Royal Foodie Joust. This as well as other bloggers' recipes can be found here.

11 comments:

toontz said...

That looks so yummy.

Ruth Elkin said...

This looks great! Love that you made a savoury dish too! Good luck for the joust!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I think this is a great take on the ingredients for this month! Definitely something I would enjoy eating! Best of luck in The Joust!

Peter M said...

Hi Michael and thx. for dropping by my blog. Good luck in the Joust - this Asian/fusion dish sounds yum!

Kevin said...

That apricot sauce sound nice and tasty!

Paula said...

That apricot chicken looks terrific. The flavor combo's you used in the sauce are right up my alley! Yum!

Elle said...

This looks fantastic! Nice job!

Kiriel du Papillon said...

I have loved apricots as savoury food since i was a kid and we made apricot chicken in school (take one packet dried french onion soup mix, one large tin apricots, pour over pieces of chicken in a baking dish. Cook till done - doesn't get easier than that eh?) so am always delighted to see more sweet/savoury dishes on offer. Oh and by the way, I just adore your little bagel sketch on the top of your page - SO cute.

Anonymous said...

This recipe is kind of similar to one very famous in my country. In fact a friend of mine who likes to visit
Viagra Online used to make this when he came to my home.

katty said...

This blog is wonderful and interesting, i really enjoyed reading!!! i must to say the apricot is delicious and contain many vitamin. That is why i prefer to eat it frequently. Actually when i bought my house through
costa rica homes for sale i didn´t see an apricot tree. Now i am really happy.

Aisha Jameel said...

Your dishes look yum … loved the presentation of the food ! good work
you can view some of my dishes on http://kitchensojourn.blogspot.com ! i would be really happy if you follow it :)