Recipe: Chicken with Shallot-Apricot Sauce

We love fruit flavors and shallots sautéed up together. You know what else we love? Easy dishes that take very little time and effort to put together. Behold — the best of both worlds. Our dad taught us this dish, although we've forgotten a lot of his instruction and gone our own way over time. (Isn't that always the case...)

This would be a great recipe to use up leftover jam — perhaps from making hamantaschen — and we've used raspberry jam in lieu of apricot many times. We also frequently make this sauce for pork tenderloin.

The oniony shallots with the fruit is one of our favorite combinations, and we add an extra layer of flavor by de-glazing the chicken skillet and pouring some pan juices over the meat before we add the shallots.

Chicken with Shallot-Apricot Sauce
serves 4

For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 medium shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 heaping tablespoons apricot jam or preserves
salt and pepper

Season each chicken breast with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until they develop a golden brown crust. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 5 more minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through.

When the chicken is finished cooking, remove from the pan, set on a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm. Return the heat to high and add the 1/4 cup of chicken broth, de-glazing the pan and scraping the brown bits from the bottom.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium to large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to get soft and the bottom of the pan begins to brown.

Add the 1/2 cup chicken broth to the shallots, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan while the broth reduces. Add the balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the apricot jam and stir to combine. The sauce will thicken but should still be easily stirred.

To serve, slice the chicken, drizzle with the pan juices, and top with the shallot-apricot mixture.

Helpful link:
How to Cook Moist and Tender Chicken Breasts

(Image: Elizabeth Passarella)

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