Chicken à la Tunisienne is a very fancy name for what is not much more than a respectable take on the infamous 70’s dish apricot chicken. Was apricot chicken as popular in other countries as it was in Australia? It was big time popular here. I know my mum made it and so did Maus’ mum (Though, her mum was a bit more posh than mine. She sprinkled flaked almonds on her apricot chicken!!).
For those who are not familiar with apricot chicken, it consisted of chicken breast, a packet of Maggi French onion soup mixture and a can of apricot nectar and …. it tasted bloody good.
When I was working and studying, Maus was in charge of the kitchen and we had apricot chicken an awful lot. At one stage, I pleaded to have it not quite so often. After that, I think she felt sorry for me and dropped it from her repertoire.
Years later, we decided to make it for old times sake but I was shocked to find you couldn’t buy 100% apricot nectar any more. The closest thing was a tin with 35% apricot ‘juice’, sugar and water. I decided to buy a tin of apricots and blend them and use that. Well, it wasn’t the same 😦 And that was the last time we had apricot chicken … until the other day.
This recipe does not come from the back of a Maggi French onion soup mixture packet but from an actual French cookbook! The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano, in fact, which, I must say, is much more impressive.
The recipe is as simple as the 70’s version and got Maus’ seal of approval. She actually cleaned her plate which is not a common occurrence.
It would be a great mid week meal and I am sure would appeal to kids.
These quantities serve 4.
- 1 tbs* butter
- 1 tbs* olive oil
- 4 shallots, chopped (Go on, substitute the shallots for one brown onion. I know I did. Shallots cost a fortune here.)
- 700g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm cubes
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbs* crème fraiche (sour cream is a good substitute, if you can’t get crème fraiche)
- 1 x 400g tin apricots in their juice
- couscous, for serving
*These are 15 mil tablespoons
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the shallots and cook until softened.
- Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until browned.
- Stir in the apricots and their juice and the cinnamon.
- Cover, reduce the heat, and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remover the cover, increase the heat and allow the cooking liquid to reduce slightly.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraiche and season to taste. Don’t allow the crème fraîche to boil as it may separate.
- Serve with couscous.