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Spicy Chicken Thighs with Apricots and Olives

by Lisa
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Adapted from FOODday

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Crushed red pepper flakes (determine your own amount of spice, 1/4 teaspoon for non-spicy or 1 teaspoon for spicy)
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (do not substitute, it's available everywhere)
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (4 large thighs)

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, pepper flakes, salt, pepper, cumin and smoked paprika.  Stir in the olives, apricots and cilantro.

Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and place in a large zip-top plastic bag.  Pour the marinade over and seal the bag.  Turn to coat all of the chicken and refrigerate for 24 hours (do not skip the 24 hour part), turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer in a shallow 2-quart (no larger) baking dish.  Pour the marinade with the olives and apricots over the chicken.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer and juices run clear with a fork.  (I used my meat thermometer that I placed in the thickest part of one of the thighs towards the middle of the dish so I did not even use a timer.)

Garnish each portion with a little chopped cilantro.  Serve over rice or couscous.

 

Cathy is currently in the development stages of her vineyard and winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  She is a food writer for Davis Life Magazine and blogs daily about wine, food and everyday living.  She lives with her husband and two sons.  You can visit her at noblepig.com.

 

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