Thursday, February 17, 2011

Recipe: Apricot Chicken

Several years ago "The Turban Ladies" in the Seeker's class at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Decatur, GA, published a cookbook entitled Servings From the Heart. Like all church cookbooks, it's comprised of every mother and grandmother's most prized recipes, their "best stuff", which is what makes church cookbooks so great. However, this cookbook is extra special, because the proceeds from the sale of it went to The Turban Ladies' work making colorful silk turbans for cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. Between the awesome recipes an the wonderful benefit to the community in need, this cookbook is a winner.

Kyle and I have made at least a dozen recipes from Servings From the Heart so far, but one of our favorites is Apricot Chicken Breasts by Ms. Dale Smith.

8 chicken breasts, boned and halved
1 bottle Catalina French dressing
1 medium jar apricot preserves
1 package dry onion soup mix

Combine dressing, preserves and soup in container. Chill several hours or overnight. Bake chicken breasts 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Add chilled mixture and continue baking for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.

You gotta love a recipe with only 4 ingredients.

Especially one that's tangy, sweet and earthy all at the same time. If you like Chinese sweet and sour sauce, you'll like this recipe. Despite the name, you'll taste more of the Catalina dressing than you will the apricot.

The first time we made this, I forgot to chill the last 3 ingredients overnight. We mixed them together and just allowed them to refrigerate while the chicken was in the oven for the first half hour, then put them on the chicken for the final half hour, and I don't think we sacrificed one smidgen of flavor.

I've also noticed it converts well if, instead of buying breasts, you use chicken tenders. Using tenders means you can cut the cook time down to 15-20 minutes before the sauce, and 20 minutes after. I prefer to go this route because I don't always like to wait a full hour for my dinner.

In this case (using the tenders instead of breasts), your bottle of dressing, jar of preserves and box of dry onion soup mix (usually contains 2 packages) will provide you with at least 2 separate dinners if you're only feeding 2 people. One reason I love this recipe is because after I've made it once, I have all the ingredients on hand in case I need to make dinner without having planned to do so in advance.

To complete your super-easy dinner, serve with a can of Glory Foods' lima beans or butter beans. They're preseasoned to perfection, so you just have to heat and eat.

Good luck obtaining a copy of this cookbook if you don't already have one. It's my understanding that the church has issued two printings and they've both sold out. My grandmother, Nell Braxton, one of The Turban Ladies, is pretty proud.

Verdict: An easy, pleasing chicken entree.


  1. Looking at the recipes/reviews I can see you're off the pre-nuptial diet. :-)

  2. Sadly enough, I'll soon be back on it. Kyle and I were prevented by the weather from taking our wedding portraits back in October. We're hoping to get them done next month, which means I have to fit into the wedding dress again . . .

  3. I wondered if your grandmother was Nell Braxton who worked at the Tucker library. I worked with her for several years at the library. I was told, and I hope it's not true, that she passed away. If so, I just want to say that many of us at the library have wonderful memories of working with her.