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Apricot-Rosemary Chicken

This recipe is an updated version of a treasured dish featured for decades at my family's holiday table.

Apricot-Rosemary Chicken
One of the best things about this recipe is that it looks as good as it tastes: lacquered and crisped skin, juicy flesh, and lots of fresh rosemary sprigs make it fit for company or any day of the week!

The first time I was given the honor to host a family holiday meal, I called my great Aunt Charlotte and asked her for her beloved "Saucy Susan Chicken" recipe. She gave all the information and off I went to the store. I gasped audibly when I read the Saucy Susan label: high fructose corn syrup featured prominently. This just wouldn't do . . . couldn't do. In keeping with the flavors (apricot) and method (a jarred sauce as the base), I discovered that Sarabeth's Peach Apricot Preserves had all the flavor and none of the processed ingredients. While I was at it, I added some ginger and rosemary to take our family's favorite into the 21st century!

Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; microplane; aluminum foil; broiler pan with tray or wire rack; tongs; small sauce pan; whisk or wooden spoon; casserole Ingredients:

2, 4-pound chickens, cut into pieces kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1, 18-ounce jar Sarabeth's Peach Apricot Preserves ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice or chicken stock 5 cloves garlic, minced

3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (extra rosemary sprigs for garnish)

"ILOC tip: quarter the chickens but leave the breasts whole. Reserve the wings for another use. Split the thighs from the drumsticks."

1. Place one oven rack below the broiler and one in the middle of the oven. Preheat the broiler. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil and top with the slotted tray or wire rack. Set aside.

2. Pat dry chicken pieces and trim of excess fat and skin. Season generously on both sides with salt and pepper and place skin side-down on the rack. Broil the chicken for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Add the preserves, juice or chicken stock, garlic, ginger, and rosemary and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened and is fragrant.

4. Remove the chicken from the oven and turn the pieces over with the skin side facing up. Return to the oven and broil for another 10 minutes.

5. Remove the chicken pieces from the oven and place in a casserole. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the rack from the broiling pan and scrape the juice and fat from the pan into the apricot sauce. Stir to incorporate. Pour the sauce over the chicken pieces.

6. Place the casserole in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Serve immediately with fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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