Have you been to a restaurant and ordered something so good that it felt like the din of the restaurant quieted, time slowed down, your focus sharpened, and every bite was so scrumptious you felt like you may never need another meal again?
I’ve had two of those meals.
One was at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern last year that was perfection, from start to finish. From the decorations to the service to the actual dishes and plating to the mouthwatering taste, it was just simply perfect. I cannot wait to go back someday. The only thing that could have made that meal better was if Tyler himself had been there, walked out of the kitchen and said “Emily, oh my gosh! I read your blog! How are you?” Since that’s not going to happen (though he does visit the restaurant often enough), I remember it as one of the best restaurant meals of my life.
The other was the apricot chicken I ordered at a local restaurant recently. It was spicy, sweet, and subtly smokey punctuated by little snips of fresh herbs. The chicken was grilled perfectly and served with basil whipped sweet potatoes and sautéed local veggies. So, so good. I ate until I couldn’t any more then let Michael finish the rest. I could hardly focus on our conversation it was so good.
I’ve been trying to recreate the sauce for weeks. I don’t have a grill, so I used my cast iron pan for a nice sear on the chicken, and I think I’ve come as close as I’m likely to get without the restaurant’s recipe. If I can recreate the whipped sweet potatoes, my life will be complete.
Well, that and Tyler and I hanging out next time I’m in San Francisco.
A few notes on the recipe:
If you’re watching your sugar intake, look for all-fruit apricot preserves. Crofters makes a great line of all-fruit spreads, sweetened only with fruit juice. You can also skip the honey for Whole30, if desired. For this recipe, we used Crofter’s organic apricot jam, which is sweetened.
Smoked paprika might be new to you. It’s delicious but STRONG. Start small and add more slowly. Looking for other ways to use it? Try these Smoked Paprika Pan-Roasted Potatoes, Smoky Black Bean Lentil Soup, or these awesome Ranchero Breakfast Burritos.Print
- 1 lb. chicken breast, pounded to 1/2″ thickness
- 1/4 cup finely minced red onion
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4–3/4 tsp red chili flakes (To taste. Start small!)
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or more, to taste)
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- olive oil or cooking fat of choice
- optional: fresh basil, for garnish
- Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the pan. Add chicken and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook 5-7 minutes on one side. Flip and cook another 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through.
- While chicken is cooking, make apricot sauce. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a small saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent and just starting to color.
- Add apricot preserves, vinegar, honey, 1/4 tsp chili flakes, smoked paprika and basil. Stir well to combine. Taste and add additional chili flakes or smoked paprika, as desired.
- When chicken is cooked, pour sauce over chicken to coat. Garnish with additional fresh basil, if desired and serve immediately.