Chicken With Apricots And Olives



I had this problem, 
I kept buying apricots every single time I went to Trader Joe's.  One day, I was in the pantry rooting around and discovered my problem.
Dang it!  
What now?  

I've loved my Moroccan Pot Roast for years, but wanted to try something different.  So I Googled "chicken, apricots, olives" and I found a link to a delightful blog in Oregon called The Noble Pig. I have to give her full credit for the recipe, and I didn't do too much to it.   

Next time I make this, I will reduce the honey a bit, as I prefer it a bit more tangy, and less sweet.  I might even increase the red pepper flakes too.. because that is just how I roll.

This is a great prep ahead recipe because of the 24 hour marination time. I also think that you could use bone-in thighs with skin on, however, it would be more oily.
 
  (In full disclosure, I did not use the olive oil in this dish- - no fat needed)Serves 4-8
Ingredients

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice1/3 cup honey 1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon1/4 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (how spicy do YOU like it?)1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper2 teaspoons ground cumin1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2-3 lbs)
In a ziploc bag, stir together the lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, cumin and smoked paprika.  Stir in the olives, apricots and cilantro.

Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and add to the ziploc plastic bag.  Turn to coat all of the chicken and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in a shallow  baking dish, it should be quite crowded in there.  Pour the marinade with the olives and apricots over the chicken.  Bake for 45-50 minutes.
NOTE:  You can bake this until the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer and juices run clear with a fork.  

Garnish each portion with a little chopped cilantro.  Serve over rice or couscous.