I think I've complained before that Ryan doesn't generally have an answer to the age old question "what do you want for dinner?" It drives me absolutely bonkers since cooking is definitely something I do for him much more than for myself. That's not to say I don't enjoy cooking and eating, I very much do, but I also feel like I'm feeding him little pieces of love when I make something special. (I hope that didn't sound crazy.)
My point is that this is one dinner Ryan asks me to make ever so often so that's how you know it rocks. It's especially perfect for this in between weather. The spices make it warming, without being spicy at all, and the olives and apricots keep it light. While it may not be the prettiest dish in the world, it's definitely tasty.
It may look like there are a lot of ingredients, but you should have most of the spices on hand. All I ever have to buy are apricots, chicken, and olives.
Would I make this again? This is one of the few dishes Ryan asks for specifically so definitely.
Spicy Chicken Thighs with Apricots and Olives
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
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)
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Garnish each portion with a little chopped cilantro. Serve over rice or couscous.
Source: Noble Pig