2 ratings

Chicken With Apricots And Fennel

The perfect chicken recipe for a crowd
Chicken With Apricots And Fennel
Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune

One of the best recipes you need to have at your next party or gathering. This chicken recipe is the perfect crowd-pleaser with its juicy chicken covered in fresh herbs.

This recipe is by JeanMarie Brownson and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
1 h 10 m
45 m
(prepare time)
25 m
(cook time)


  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon cumin seed (or 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin)
  • 1 Teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 3 pounds total
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, halved, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup (6 ounces) thinly sliced dried apricot halves
  • 3/4 Cups (4 ounces) dark or golden raisins
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons dry white wine or vermouth, optional
  • 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste (or 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
  • Chopped fresh chives
  • Ginger-garlic basmati rice


Put cumin, fennel, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper into a mortar; grind with a pestle until blended and nearly fine in texture. (Store covered in a jar for up to a week.)

Pat chicken dry.

Place on a baking sheet.

Rub spice mixture into both sides of the chicken.

Let stand, 30 minutes. Or refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Have a large baking pan or 13-by-9-inch dish ready.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.

Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and half the chicken breasts in a single uncrowded layer (work in batches).

Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total.

Transfer to the baking dish. Repeat to brown the remaining chicken using another tablespoon of the oil.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the empty skillet and heat.

Add onion.

Cook and stir over medium-high heat until golden, about 4 minutes.

Stir in apricots, raisins and garlic.

Cook 1 minute.

Add broth, wine, tamarind paste (or lemon juice) and thyme.

Add salt to taste, usually about 1/2 teaspoon depending on the saltiness of the broth.

Heat mixture to a boil, then pour over chicken in the baking pan.

Bake uncovered until chicken juices run clear, 15 to 20 minutes.

Garnish with chives.

Serve warm or at room temperature over basmati rice.

For the ginger-garlic basmati rice: put 2 cups brown basmati rice into a rice cooker.

Add 2 2/3 cups chicken broth or water, 4 cloves garlic (thinly sliced), 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger.

Cook according to the manufacturer's directions.

Fluff with a fork.

Serve warm garnished with chopped fresh chives or cilantro (or a combination).

Alternatively, cook in a saucepan on the stovetop, upping the amount of water to 3 cups.

Simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed, about 40 minutes.