My maj* Tracy and I have a diet plan together. It’s simple. We text each other pictures of everything we eat in a day. It’s called The Friend Diet and it keeps us accountable for all of the things we mindlessly eat. Tracy has a thing for dried apple rings and I basically only eat tortillas stuffed with various eggs, beans, and greens. It’s not so much a diet because we don’t actually restrict ourselves (as evidence by the picture of a giant slice of Drake on Cake cake I just texted to Tracy)… but it is our way of being accountable for… if nothing else, the amount of apple rings and tortillas we eat.
On one of the rare days that I was not eating a tortilla, I made this Apricot and Balsamic Glazed Chicken served with fluffy couscous and peppery arugula. It’s a perfect recipe for those Tuesday nights when you’re like…. I need to be an adult, and make dinner like an adult, and eat it sitting on a chair like an adult. This is that dinner.
Other chicken dinners include: Slight Fear of Commitment Roast Chicken (don’t worry, everything is great) and The Best Week Night Chicken Dinner and Chicken Spinach Meatball Soup with Broth and Rice. I suppose what I’m trying to say is… I have no reason to eat as many tortillas as I do.
Here’s dinner. Let’s do it.
*maj: short for major. As in, ‘Tracy is the major person in my life’. Best friend. Like the movie Beaches except (spoiler alert) we both live (hopefully, GEEZ).
This recipe is rather smash and dash. That’s how I refer to a quick and easy weeknight meal. I’m a big fan of boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they’re cheap, flavorful, and cook through quickly. Some people haaaate chicken thighs and if you’re one of them…. it’s cool. Go for the breast. No shame in the game.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Both sides. Pan sear in a hot pan with olive oil. There’s no stirring while pan searing. It’s the quality time in the pan that gives chicken it’s golden brown crust.
What’s smash and dash about this chicken is the flavor. We’re using a few bold ingredients to add a major amount of flavor in a flash. Apricot jam (the good kind) and balsamic vinegar. Sweet and sour, big and bold.
Jam, balsamic, and chicken stock are whisked together, poured over the sizzling chicken and simmered into a thin gravy.
With fresh greens, buttered couscous, and extra gravy… it’s dinner! Add sparkling white wine because you’ve come this far. Take a picture for The Friend Diet and tomorrow? Tortillas!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/3 cup apricot jam
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- cooked couscous
- fresh arugula
- In a large saute pan, heat the extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Season both sides of the chicken liberally with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown undisturbed for 5 minutes. Flip and sprinkle with fresh thyme. Cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the jam, vinegar and stock and pour over the chicken. Cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and becomes a thin glaze.
- Serve with couscous and fresh arugula.