Sunday, 22 June 2008

Royal Foodie Joust - Poulet d'Abricot

It's Royal Foodie Joust time again. If my calculations are correct, this is the 12th joust and that means the RFJ is almost 1 year old!! I almost didn't make it for the Joust this time as I just couldn't find the time to do anything. However...
Just yesterday morning they let me know you were gone
Susanne the plans they made put an end to you
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

Sorry, sorry. Does that ever happen to anyone else? You know, you start writing something and what you write reminds you of a song and you just cant get it out of your head? Anyone? Anyone??

Anyway, James Taylor has left the studio. As I was saying, just yesterday morning,
while in the midst of doing something very secret and that I can't talk about until the 29th, The Lovely Wife asked me if I wanted to do anything for lunch with some chicken that was in the fridge. I immediately thought of this month's Joust but realised I didn't have any apricots anywhere.

Nothing that a quick trip to the neighbourhood supermarket wont solve! I already had a rough idea of what I was going to make. My son came along with me for the ride and I was just planning to buy some mushrooms and dried apricots since fresh apricots are not only rather hard to come by but are rather pricey too. Would you believe that today they had some fresh apricots??!!!

I gave my son the choice of deciding whether we should buy fresh apricots or the dried ones (double in cost!!) so if I got in trouble with the Lovely Wife, I could always blame my son - as if I would do that :) We both reasoned that since neither he nor his sister had ever tried fresh apricots, we would get the fresh ones. So that was that.

The ingredients for this joust were Apricots, Ginger and Butter. Now usually, that would scream out something sweet like a pie or cake or even the Apricot Almond Cheesecake I made for my very first Joust. I decided however to go the unconventional route and do something savoury.

This is what I did:

1 chicken
1 inch ginger
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
3 apricots
3 Kaffir Lime Leaves
2 tsp Basil
1 tsp rosemary
250gm Portobello Mushrooms
Handful of almonds
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
200ml milk
Black Pepper

Clean and cut chicken into pieces.
Chop Onions and garlic and slice ginger thinly. Set aside. Cut mushrooms into large pieces and set aside. Cut apricots into thick slices. Heat oil in pan and sautee the onions, ginger and garlic together with the basil and Kaffir Lime Leaves. Add in the mushrooms and cook till tender. Add in the chicken and mix well before adding in the apricots. Add in a little water if necessary. Meanwhile make the roux sauce by melting the butter and then adding the flour. Cook the flour and then add in the milk. Continue to stir until mixture thickens. Add the sauce to the chicken mixture and allow to simmer until sauce is really thick and apricots are soft and have released their flavour. Season with salt and pepper. Before servings, toast some almond slivers and sprinkle on top.

I served this with rice and as a garnish, I added thinly sliced fresh apricots. That lent a nice crunch and extra tanginess to the dish. The kids were rather hungry and the creamy chicken was quickly devoured. Both my son and daughter loved the apricots in the chicken and they liked the fresh apricot garnish even more! The Lovely Wife loved it too and while stuffing her face, managed a "well done Honey!"

Now I needed a name. I contemplated naming this dish Creamy Chicken with Apricots and Mushrooms but I decided that I would make the dish sound exotic by giving it a French name and thus Poulet d'Abricot was born!

So with the Joust completed, a new dish discovered and even a fancy schmancy name created, I can go back to singing. Which is what I think I will do. Now, I just know the Lovely Wife is going to start wondering who Suzanne is...

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you again


Gerald said...

Can I use lemon or any citrus zest in place of the Lime Kaffir leaves? Great recipe by the way.

Peter M said...

Dharm, a symphonic dish...this chicken dish sounds wonderful and good Jousting!

Bellini Valli said...

This is a great entry for this months Joust Dharm. Good luck!!!!! far as the singing you, my friend at work and me so far break into song:D

maybelles parents said...

great joust entry.

glamah16 said...

Your so good at this. I love apricots. Need to get caught up and try to think of something.

Cynthia said...

You are a true master in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

A frezied life has kept me away from your blog these past couple of months.I am loving this dish as well as the pasta in the previous post.Who would have thought prune juice could a gravy make?Very innovatively resourceful of you.Am thinking of serving the two for an upcoming dinner not only for the colour and taste of these unusual dishes but the simplicity of preparation,though would have to keep the pasta vegetarian of course so as not to overwhelm the flavours.
The chicken curry looks yummy.Nothing beats chicken curry with steaming hot rice on a cold,rainy day.Marriage made in heaven to be savoured on earth!Your cornbread post brings back memories of delish corn muffins enjoyed in Kenny Rogers.In my opinion they make the most scrumptious muffins ever.How on earth did you get your hands on cornmeal for the cornbread.Been trying for months now to no avail.None of the supermarkets or baking shops I've patronised in KL carry the stuff.
Happy cooking and baking.

Ruth Elkin said...

Great dish Dharm!!!! I've got a chicken dish planned for this joust too despite the ingredients screaming dessert too.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Really lovely dish Dharm! I think it is great that you also exposed your son and daughter to a new fresh fruit as well! Best of luck in the Joust! Hard to believe it is one year old!

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Great entry for the Joust Dharm! Good luck to you.

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Dharm your dish sounds very tasty. And all your recipes (and photos)are great. Whenever I come across a foodie blog written by a man I show it my husband. He loves to cook too. Good luck with the Joust and thank you for sharing.


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