Remember my recent trip to the hills? Yes, Saattal it was. I brought back a bunch of jams. One of them was an apricot jam. Turns out, it’s my favourite. But how long will I just spread it over bread? That’s why I used it instead of honey for my sweet and spicy chilli sauce. This one’s a 3-ingredient sauce – chillies, garlic and apricot jam. Since there aren’t any other ingredients to give it volume, I used a lot of chillies. Don’t be alarmed, they were all deseeded. Except 2-3 I guess, for the heat.
I used bone-in chicken thighs for this recipe. You could use the drumsticks or boneless chicken even. I love the thighs because they’re more moist and tender than the breast pieces which typically are bland and dry out in no time. I marinated the chicken in some chilli powder and garlic paste. Next evening I came back home from work and made the chilli paste with garlic which takes 3-4 minutes. Rubbed some on to the chicken, and popped them into the oven for 35 minutes. No need to stay in the kitchen for hours to cook a delicious dinner. Just enough prep in advance and you’re sorted.
10 mins (besides overnight marinating time)
35 mins + 10 mins
Chicken thighs on the bone – 4
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp (or 3 cloves finely chopped)
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
(Marinate chicken in above ingredients overnight or you could simply skip it if you don’t have the time)
Dried red chillies (Kashmiri ones) – 5-6 large, deseed 3 of them
Apricot jam – 3 tbsp
Garlic – 5 cloves finely chopped or grated
Lemon juice – just a dash
Salt to taste
Preheat oven at 190 degrees C.
Dry roast the chillies for about a minute on a hot pan.
Grind them with the garlic and some water so you get a paste.
Transfer this into a bowl and mix the apricot jam and lemon juice with some salt.
Mix it all well and rub 1 tsp on each chicken thigh, leaving the rest for the sauce.
Heat a pan with a dash of olive oil. Sear the chicken pieces (browning each side) for about a minute on each side and transfer them to an oven proof dish.
Pop the dish into your preheated oven and let the chicken cook for 35 minutes.
In the meanwhile, using the same pan you seared the chicken in, tip the rest of the chilli paste with 1/4 cup of water and let it come to a bubble. Turn off the heat.
Once the chicken is cooked, tip it into the chilli apricot paste and mix well.
Garnish with fresh basil or coriander leaves if you’d like.
You could eat it as it is or serve it with some rice or mash potatoes.