Sunday, January 7, 2018

Albin's Apricot Chicken with Wild Rice and Pistachios

 During this time a very short year ago, I was just about to open in a production of La Cage aux Folles. (For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is the show on which the movie The Birdcage is based.) I had the incredible privilege and honor of playing the role of Albin also known as Zaza (which is the Nathan Lane role). Throughout my many years of performing in theater, out of all the roles I've ever played, I think Albin may be my very favorite. It was definitely the most challenging, and it took me MONTHS to learn, but it was definitely the most rewarding!
 Anyway, in my very first scene, this was one of my lines: "I deboned a chicken, stuffed her with wild rice and pistachios, anointed her with apricot glaze, and topped her off in truffles.."
 Well, of course, ever since then, you KNOW I've been wanted to make this dish!
 So here we go.. Since there was no actual recipe, this is basically how it went down:
Instead of de-boning an entire chicken, I just used boneless breasts. For the wild rice and pistachio stuffing, I just looked for different wild rice recipes and then did some tweaking until it was right. (Side note, if I'm being quite honest, wild rice is usually not my go-to. But OMG wait until you try it in this stuffing!) And then I just did an easy apricot glaze. Simple! Oh, and since truffles are insanely expensive, I decided to just do a tiny drizzle of truffle oil over the top (but that's just optional!)
 The result was absolutely delicious! And it was pretty easy too!
 So, thank you, Zaza, for coming into my life. I will cherish you forever. And to my fabulous extended La Cage family, this one's for you. I hope you'll continue to live life "on an angle!"

4 boneless breasts of chicken
salt and pepper
Wild rice and pistachio stuffing
1 cup apricot preserves
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbs honey
truffle oil, (optional)

Heat oven to 350┬║F.
With a very sharp knife, place your whole hand on top of a chicken breast, and then slice horizontally, giving you two pieces that are twice as thin. Do this with remaining chicken. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Prepare the wild rice stuffing as directed.
 For each piece of chicken, place a heaping mound of stuffing in the center of each breast. Pull the ends up to meet. Secure with a tooth pick. Place each piece of stuffed chicken in a baking dish.
 IN a small bowl, combine preserves, soy sauce, mustard, and honey. Brush glaze generously over the chicken. Cover with foil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until cooked through. Don't over bake!
 After it is finished baking, remove cover and give it another generous glaze. Drizzle with a tiny bit of truffle oil, if desired.

Not a fan of apricots? Just use another kind of preserves! How about peach or pineapple? You just want something sweet and sticky for your glaze.
Not a fan of wild rice? Just use whatever kind you like!

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