Sometimes inspiration arrives via the most tortuous of routes.
I’d been indecisive about what to cook for dinner the whole day. I’d tried all the usual tricks to un-block the idea jam – going for a walk, drinking a nice pot of Pu-Erh, chasing the cat, gazing out to sea, plane spotting, being chased by the cat – but nothing could start the old creative juices pumping.
Getting grumpier by the minute, I slung a batch of crisp-bread in the oven, and promptly fell asleep in the sofa.
I awoke 1 hour and 10 minutes later to the sound of the oven’s timer pinging repeatedly, and the cat sat on my head meowing hungrily.
I was pleased to find, however, that I had come to with an idea for dinner firmly lodged in the “let’s do stuff” part of my conscious mind.
One minute and 45 seconds later, with a now contented cat busy chowing down on lamb and chicken, and crisp-bread cooling on a wire rack, I was heading out the door, a very hastily scribbled shopping list in my hand….
Chicken With Apricots, Bacon, And Pistachios
- 1.5kg chicken pieces
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 280g cubed, smoked bacon
- 100g dry roasted pistachios
- 100g dried apricots, sliced into thirds
- 250 ml coconut cream
- 2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- olive oil
- Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded, non-stick pan. Stir fry the bacon until golden brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Set the bacon aside.
- Add the onion to the pan. Stir fry until soft and golden, about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the apricots and dried roasted pistachios. Continue to stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and smoked Spanish paprika. Continue to stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Return the bacon to the pan. Stir well. Add the coconut cream, season with freshly ground black pepper to taste, then simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pan, and then add sufficient hot water to just cover the chicken. Cover with the lid, and return to a low simmer.
- Cook the chicken for 25 minutes on low heat. Turn the chicken in the sauce, and cook for a further 25 minutes.
- Check the chicken to see if it is thoroughly cooked – the juices should run clear, and the meat should have lost its raw, pink colour. Continue to cook if required.
- Once the chicken is cooked to your satisfaction, remove the pan from the heat. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve together with a side of cauliflower rice.