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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Going for the "Go To" Meals

I feel it's safe to say that most of us lead pretty busy lives. Balancing our daily work schedules and family responsibilities is no easy task. I find that, after a long day of working, running errands and shuttling kids around, there doesn't seem to be much time to spend in the kitchen, whipping up a gourmet meal. Sometimes, I'll plan ahead and prepare a few things on the weekend that I can just heat up during the week. I'll be honest, though, I have better things to do with my weekends than spend the whole time in the kitchen. I live in Florida for heaven's sake!

Fortunately, I have developed an arsenal of what I like to call my "Go To" meals. "Go To" meals are dishes with a relatively short ingredient list that can be prepared in about an hour or less. They are the recipes that I "go to" when I am short on the time and/or energy to do much else. Now, I'm not talking about slapping a boring old chicken breast on the Griddler and microwaving some pre-packaged mac-n-cheese, (although, my husband loves that stuff). Anyone can do that, but who would want to? No...I'm talking about cuisine here. My "Go To" meals may not always be super-fancy, but they are always tasty, nutritious and creative.

My "Go To" meals originate from many sources. Some, I have invented myself. Others, have come from the good folks at the Food Network, cookbooks and magazines, the Internet, friends and of course, my fellow bloggers (who are my greatest inspiration). The great thing about these dishes, aside from being quick and easy, is that you can tinker with them and make them a little different each time you prepare them.

I've decided to make "Go To" meals a regular feature on this blog. Every Tuesday I will post a recipe for a different "Go To" meal. If any of you have recipes that fit this criteria, and are willing to share, I would love to hear from you. I'll gladly post some of them here. Hopefully, these "Go To" meals will help make your lives a tiny bit easier.

The recipe I have chose for this first installment is Apricot Glazed Chicken with Dried Plums and Sage, from the Food Network show, Good Deal with Dave Lieberman. I love this dish! It is both sweet and savory, and definitely sticky and gooey. I've tweaked it a bit to shorten the cooking time, by substituting boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of bone-in parts. The end result is still delicious. I like to serve this with cous cous and a tossed salad. The cous cous takes no time at all to prepare and really works well with the chicken. I make it with chicken broth and add a little diced, sauteed onion and some yellow raisins.

Apricot Glazed Chicken with Dried Plums and Sage
Adapted from Good Deal with Dave Lieberman

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 (12-ounce) jar apricot preserves
15 medium dried plums, pitted
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 pinches salt
20 grinds black pepper
10 cloves garlic, peeled
20 to 30 sage leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim any extra fat from the chicken pieces and transfer them to a large roasting pan.

Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl.

Toss together with the chicken until it is evenly coated with the sauce.

Roast, uncovered, until the chicken pieces are browned and the chicken is cooked through, about 25 to 30 minutes.



Tartelette said...

I love this recipe already...great to et into fall mood or at least make believe! There is a similar dish I make with some orange juice and dry red wine added as the chicken sauce, no apricot preserves though...out of this world!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

tartelette - Welcome! I am honored that you visited my little blog. I have been enjoying yours for over a year now. It is one of my favorites! I literally drool over your wonderful recipes...and the photos! Mon Dieu!

Brilynn said...

This sounds like a great fall recipe, love the flavour combo, I'll have to give it a try!

Belinda said...

This sounds very, very good, and I do love the whole concept of quickly prepared "go to" meals...I'll keep checking in! :-)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

brilynn & belinda - Welcome and thanks for visiting. I'm glad you like the dish. I've enjoyed both of your blogs very much. I hope that you return here often.