Apricot Chicken with Walnut-Chevre Orzo
- Yield 6 servings
- 6 -- boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chopped red onion
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic (divided)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup dried apricots, snipped or chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
- -- Juice of one small lemon
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups orzo pasta
- 2 cans (14 ounces) chicken broth
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf Italian parsley and additional for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly toast walnuts in 350 degree oven on metal baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, coarsely chop and set aside.
Place chicken breasts in 9×13 glass baking dish lightly sprayed with cooking spray, cover dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Saute onion in 2 tablespoons oil for 5-6 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons garlic and ginger and cook 2-3 minutes. Add wine, mustard, honey, preserves, apricots, lemon juice, thyme, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Simmer approximately 10-12 minutes until slightly reduced.
Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Remove chicken breasts from oven, uncover, and pour off any liquid
Pour apricot glaze mixture over chicken and return baking dish to oven. Bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes until chicken breasts are cooked through and glaze begins to slightly brown and caramelize
For orzo, saute orzo in medium saucepan in 2 tablespoons olive oil until lightly browned. Add one-teaspoon garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until orzo is al dente and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Add chopped parsley and crumbled goat cheese and season with salt and pepper just before serving.
Serve glazed chicken breasts on top of orzo. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and additional parley sprigs for garnish.