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Apricot Almond Chicken with 2008 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir

by Karen on January 9th, 2011

This recipe is from the book Cooking Gluten Free!  though it is called Apricot Pecan Chicken in the book, more on that in a moment.  It has a touch of curry and a wonderful interplay of flavors that dance on your palate.  I was in a cooking mood last night and decided to make this favorite dish.  It takes a while to do the prep work so it is definately a weekend meal.

The steps involve grinding the nuts, pounding the chicken flat, flouring the chicken, dipping in an eggwash and then into the nuts.  Once the chicken is cooked and keeping warm in the oven –make the sauce. 

The various combination of flavors:
-dried apricots soak in white wine
-ground almonds mixed with curry, paprika, and white pepper
-sauce is made of garlic, lemon juice, tabasco, Maderia, chicken stock and heavy cream

We served the dish with simple accompaniments–brown rice and steamed green beans.  Origianlly I was going to roast some asparagus until I got to the store and the green beans looked better.

This recipe was originally from the Bay and Ocean cookbook from the Ark Restaurant owned by Chefs Main and Lucas.  The restaurant used to be located in Long Beach, Washington and has since closed, and according to a quick search, the talented chefs now operate Nanci & Jimella’s Klipsan Market Cafe.  You should definately try their cafe if you travel to this part of Washington state.

Last night while making this dinner I ran out of pecans so half of the batch was crusted in ground pecans and the other half in ground almonds.  I use a mini-prep Cuisinart to grind the nuts and had found that the almonds make a fine grind whereas my pecans contained more moisture and ended up as more of a medium grind.  I now prefer this dish with almonds, the finer grind allows for easier cooking without danger of the nuts burning.

Ground pecans, apricots, white pepper, curry and paprika

This is one of those recipes that you will want to make every few months or so when you have the time.  It is simply delicious and worth every minute spent.

We had the 2008 Six Vineyards Pinot Noir on hand and our recently purchased Riedel Burgandy glasses. The glasses really helped to open up this bottle of wine last night and allow for a better experience.  The color of the wine is a brillant cherry while on the nose I noticed sweet red cherry and some citrus which also followed on the palate.  After dinner it was very pleasant to drink on its’ own as well, though it has a brief finish.  An old adage says that a white meat such as chicken needs a white wine but Pinot Noir is the perfect match for a turkey dinner and it was very good with Apricot Almond Chicken.

I hope you have a chance to enjoy this meal.

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