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Pantry has apricot glaze components

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Washington Post photo)
Apricot-Glazed Grilled Chicken Cutlets.

You can find plenty of prepared marinades and barbecue sauces in stores, but why buy them? It's easy to mix up quick marinades and glazes from what you already have in the pantry.

This apricot barbecue glaze is a good example. Prep time is about 15 minutes.

Grilled apricots and scallions finish the dish and make it look as great as it tastes.

If you can find them, choose so-called "red" apricots, which actually have a deep orange color. Different varieties are showing up in supermarkets, and they yield a lovely, rosy juice after grilling. If you can't find apricots at all, plums or peaches may be substituted.

MAKE AHEAD: The chicken needs to marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

Apricot-Glazed Grilled Chicken Cutlets

6 servings

For the chicken and marinade

1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 2 to 3 juice oranges)

2 tablespoons apricot jam or preserves

1 tablespoon mild olive or vegetable oil

Pinch ground cayenne pepper

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 thinly sliced skinless chicken breast cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

For the glaze and garnishes

2 teaspoons mild olive or vegetable oil

1/4 cup finely diced onion

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste (may substitute 2 tablespoons regular tomato paste)

Pinch ground cayenne pepper

1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 to 2 juice oranges)

1/4 cup no-salt-added chicken broth

3 tablespoons apricot jam or preserves

Freshly ground black pepper

6 apricots, preferably a red variety, cut in half and pitted (see headnote; may substitute peaches or plums)

6 large scallions, trimmed

Steps

For the chicken and marinade: Whisk together the orange juice, jam or preserves, oil and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, then pour into a resealable gallon-size food storage bag. Add the chicken cutlets and seal, pressing out as much air as possible. Massage to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

For the glaze and garnishes: Heat the oil in a small nonstick saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until the onion has softened. Add the tomato paste and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, broth and jam or preserves. Season with black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until the jam dissolves. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Reduce the heat to medium-low so the mixture is barely bubbling at the edges; cook for about 8 minutes. Taste again and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remove from the heat.

Prepare the grill for direct heat. If using a gas grill, preheat to medium-high (450 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal; when the coals are ready, distribute them evenly over the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Use cooking oil spray to grease the grill grate; place the grate on the grill. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Transfer the cutlets to the grill, discarding the marinade. Add the apricot halves, cut sides down, and the scallions. Close the lid and cook for 4 minutes or until the chicken has good grill marks. Turn the cutlets over. Turn the apricots and scallions over and move them to the outer edges of the grill grate.

Baste the apricots, scallions and the grilled side of the chicken with the glaze. Close the lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cutlets are cooked through. Turn them over and baste the second side with the glaze.

Transfer the apricot halves and scallions to a plate.

Close the lid and cook the chicken for 2 minutes to set the glaze.

Serve the cutlets warm or at room temperature, with the apricot halves and scallion as garnishes.

Nutrition per serving: 200 calories, 27 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 10 g sugar

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