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Apricot Tea Braised Chicken Thighs

This is a delicious dish redolent with flavor. Pat Harmon's original recipe called for one thigh per serving, but the chicken contest sponsors upped it to two per person.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 can (5.5 ounces) apricot nectar
2/3 cup water, divided
2 tea bags
1 teaspoon dark molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced (she uses yellow)
1/2 medium green bell pepper, cut in strips
1 cup baby carrots
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 cups hot cooked rice

In medium microwave-safe bowl, mix together apricot nectar and 1/3 cup of the water. Microwave on high about 2 1/2 minutes. Place tea bags in mixture and let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and add molasses, cumin and hot pepper sauce.

In small container, mix together garlic powder, salt and pepper; sprinkle on both sides of chicken pieces. In large frying pan, place oil over medium high heat. Add chicken (our shopper bought skinless but not boneless thighs, so we boned them ourselves -- boneless will be much less work) and brown lightly on both sides, about 4 minutes.

Remove chicken and add onion; saute. Add green bell peppers and stir fry several minutes. Return chicken to pan, add carrots and apricot-tea mixture. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until chicken and carrots are tender.

In cup, mix together remaining 1/3 cup water, rice vinegar (we used balsamic vinegar) and cornstarch. Stir mixture into pan and heat until thickened. Serve over rice (we cooked 1 cup raw rice). Makes 4 servings.

Pat Harmon, Economy

Thursday, April 05, 2001

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