Sweetness is the gateway to change, at least in my family. My kids (and my husband too!) like the same dishes, over and over and over again. Introducing a new dish to the dinner rotation takes master marketing skills, and sweetness to help ease their fears. Last night, the sweetness of apricot in this chicken rice dish took the threat out of unfamiliar green and red peppers. Everyone had seconds, and a chorus of disappointed faces greeted my announcement that there was nothing left for thirds.
These apricot chicken drumsticks on a bed of rice just expanded our dinner routine without tears or complaints. I made it on the stove top in a dutch oven, but it could easily go in the crockpot on a busy night. Easy to throw together, left on a low simmer, it’s happy to wait for you to be ready to enjoy it.
This chicken rice dish wasn’t really a complete novelty. It was actually the first dish Steve made for me. Back when I was a kid fresh out of college, he invited me back to his Upper West Side bachelor pad to cook me dinner. The apartment was filled with the comforting smell of simmering chicken and I felt right at home. Six months later, I had moved in, madly in love with this older man (26!) who wasn’t too macho to cook.
Over the years, I’ve adapted the Apricot Chicken recipe by removing a few of the heavily processed ingredients, but the flavors that wooed me are still all in there. And now they’ve wooed the kids too. Give this easy dish a try on a busy weeknight and watch it work its magic on your family.
- 1½ cups of white rice
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup of water
- 8-10 chicken drumsticks
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 green pepper, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup of apricot jelly
- 1 large sweet onion, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Set the rice to cook with two cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of water. Combine it all in a pot and bring to a low boil. Cover and set the heat to low for 30 minutes.
- Cut the onion and peppers.
- Set a large Le Creuset dutch oven over medium flame. Add the vegetable oil and the chicken drumsticks. Sauté the drumsticks for 2 minutes per side, to get them nice and golden. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside.
- Add the onions to the bottom of the dutch oven and saute over medium heat until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the chicken back into the pot as well as the peppers. Pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and using wooden spoon, give the bottom of the pan a good scrub to get all the brown bits up.
- Pour in the apricot jelly and give it all a good stir. Cover the dutch oven and cook for 45 minutes over medium heat, peeking every 10 minutes or so to give it a stir.
- Serve warm over rice.