If you’re eating with allergies, dinner invitations can be scarce. I mean both the kind that you give and the kind you receive. Most people are intimidated by trying to cook for you, and it can be hard to find recipes that other people would want to eat with you. Our family loves to break bread with other families, even when it has to be gluten-free. So I have made it a priority to have several allergen-friendly menus on hand that still feel like a “company dinner”.

This is one of those meals. It’s hardly difficult or exotic but somehow it just feels a little special. You can do all of the prep work in advance and then cook the whole thing in less than an hour. It keeps well in a warm oven if your guests are running late. It’s easy to increase the quantity to feed more people and kids and adults both love it. For all these reasons, and the fact that it just tastes good, this recipe is a go-to in my book.

If you’re not familiar with quinoa, you should get acquainted. It makes such a nice change from rice and has a delightfully nutty flavor. You can read all about the wonders of quinoa and the best way to cook it here.

Feel free to change up the cuts of chicken to suit your preference or what’s on sale this week. I like to use drumsticks and thighs but you could also use bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or even a whole, cut-up chicken.

I also recommend a high quality apricot preserve. You want your glaze to taste like apricots, not burnt sugar. I really like St. Dalfour. It’s not only super-yummy, but is also fruit juiced sweetened so my kiddos aren’t getting a sugar buzz with their chicken leg. Crofter’s also has a fruit-juice sweetened jam, which is what I used this time, seeing as it was the one on sale at the time.

I like to round out the meal with whatever green veggie is in season—asparagus, snap peas, tossed salad, green beans, broccoli, or spinach are all lovely accompaniments.

A note on the quinoa: if you prepare it as stated here your quinoa will be quite moist. My family likes it this way (and it seems to stick better to spoons in the hands of three-year-olds that way). But if you prefer your quinoa fluffier, I’d recommend cooking it a little longer and uncovered to help evaporate some of the liquid.

If you have a Plan to Eat account, you can click on the recipe title below and find the recipe already formatted for you. (It’s my pleasure, no need to thank me.)

Apricot-Glazed Chicken with Quinoa Dressing

Source: Family Circle magazine (with minor adaptations)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
  • 12 organic chicken pieces (any cut, bone-in, skin-on)
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers

Method

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, apricot preserves and mustard. Set aside 3 tablespoons for the quinoa.
  3. Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Brush on the mustard mixture and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Or, tent with foil and keep warm in a low oven.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, make the quinoa dressing. Saute the onion and celery in a tablespoon of oil until lightly brown and softened. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Stir in the apricots, almonds, and reserved apricot-mustard mixture.

*This recipe is being shared over on Cybele Pascal’s Allergen-Free blog. Click over for lots of other yummy allergen-friendly recipes.

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