Apricot Chicken (or peach)
I got this recipe from my mother-in-law, and my husband loves when I make it! I don't make it very often because the ingredients are not ones I usually have on hand. However, I have found ways to substitute ingredients so that we can have it more often (like tonight) as a last-minute dinner idea.
6-8 chicken pieces (I use about 4 boneless/skinless breasts)
8 oz Russian dressing
1 cup apricot jam
1 pkg (1 3/8 oz) dry onion soup mix
2 tsp curry powder (optional)
Mix dressing, jam, soup mix, & curry. Pour over chicken in a casserole dish. Bake at 350 for an hour. Serve over rice. Easy peasy!
NOW... tonight I did something a little different and was so pleased with the result. As I am about to can a bunch of peaches (four boxes of which arrived at my house today), I've been trying to eat up more of last year's canned peaches. When it was time to consider tonight's dinner I thought, "What can I make for dinner that will use up some canned peaches?" and I thought of apricot chicken.
As a substitute for the apricot jam, I took a little less than half a quart of canned peaches, along with juice for that amount, and put them in a small saucepan. I mushed up the peaches with the back of a fork, added a little more sugar since jam has tons of sugar in it (about two tablespoons) and put it over medium-high heat. I let it boil for a little while, stirring occasionally; about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, I didn't have any onion soup mix on hand (which is weird; I normally do) so I found a recipe for it online, and I already had all of the necessary spices for it. Tonight I did happen to have Russian dressing in my fridge, but I have made from-scratch Russian dressing out of other ingredients before, when I've needed to. (There are about a million Russian dressing recipes online, and so many of them are VERY different. When I've made it before I used some ketchup, some mayo, a little Worchestershire, and some spices. This one online is close enough.)
So, tonight's canned peaches concoction served as my jam (they had cooked down to roughly a cup of "jam"), and I mixed it with the dressing, and about 5 teaspoons of the onion soup spice mix. (I never use curry with this.) It turned out so tasty; just as good as the original recipe!
Also, I don't usually put it in the oven for an hour. Tonight I used a covered electric skillet; I cut up the chicken into large chunks and mixed the sauce with it and cooked it all together and cooked it on medium heat, stirring occasionally. It was done before the rice was, probably in 15 minutes. Using 5 teaspoons of the onion spice mix was pretty mild; next time I'll do 6 teaspoons (which is the same as 2 tablespoons, FYI). Delish!