Sometimes dinner is so tasty, but then the leftovers kinda rock your world.
Maybe you invited over new neighbors and you all ohh-ed and ahhh-ed about how “I usually avoid the white meat” but “this is exceptionally moist”.
I have my theories. I think it could be from the dried apricots drenched in white wine, stuffed in the bird to release their moist sweetness into the cavity of the chicken. But, if you make this recipe and the breast is not the moist-est, most succulent ever. No fear. We all lapped up the apricot sauce coating the chicken, too. It gets even better, since the recipe is simple with only a handful of ingredients used to create this quite heavenly dinner.
Even though you will want to eat the leftovers while standing in front of the fridge the next day, you must not, because the Apricot-Pistachio Chicken Salad is possibly even better. Technically, you could make this chicken salad with store-bought cooked chicken, but um… not sure why you would do that since these recipes are a two for one special.
Also, when you are done with trimming, toss those leftover chicken bones in a pot and make some broth while you’re at it. And now you have three meals…
How do you like them apricots!
Apricot Roasted Chicken
2 cups Dried Apricots
2 cups White Wine
4-6 pounds Whole Chicken, bones, skin & all
1 tablespoon Kosher or Sea Sat
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 Shallots or 1 sweet onion, optional but a flavorful addition
Soak the dried apricots in the white wine, at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Season the chicken with the salt and black pepper, inside and out.
Drain the apricots, reserving the soaking liquid.
Chop the shallots or sweet onion into large chunks. Stuff half of the soaked apricots and all of the shallots in the cavity of the bird.
Place in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the remaining apricots around the bird.
Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 and roast another hour, more or less, depending on the size of your chicken. At this point you will want to simply check the temperature rather than watching the clock.
When the chicken’s temperature is about 140 in the thickest part of the thigh, scoop out most of the apricots surrounding the bird. As many as you can easily scoop up without burning yourself. Place the chicken back in the oven.
Blend the apricots in a blender or food processor with the reserved white wine. Pour this sauce over the chicken and continue to roast.
The chicken is done when the temperature is 160 in the thigh and/or the juices run clear.
Remove from the oven and cover with a lid or foil. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
Take care when opening the oven to check on the temperature, remove the apricots, and pour the sauce on. Every time you open the oven door the temperature will drop in temperature, extending your cooking time. Just plan to be prompt when opening and shutting the door.
Apricot-Pistachio Chicken Salad
If you prefer a creamier, more mayonnaise like dressing you may want to double the mayo, yogurt, and mustard.
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Plain Yogurt
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 cups Chicken, cooked, chopped and shredded
3/4 cup Apricots, dried & rehydrated or fresh*, chop into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup Pistachios, chopped
2 tablespoons Fresh Herbs, such as mint, basil, parsley or thyme or a combination
Whisk together the mayonnaise and/or yogurt and dijon mustard.
Fold in the shredded chicken, chopped apricots, pistachios, and fresh herbs.
Taste. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper if necessary. Adjust any of the ingredients as you desire.
Serve on bread, in a wrap or on a bed of lettuce.
*Since apricots are currently in season indulge in the fresh ones if you plan to skip making the Apricot Roasted Chicken