Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Apricot and Vanilla Chicken Baskets

After buying the Cooking with Booze cookbook, I knew I wanted to try a couple of their recipes for New Year's Eve. You can check out their website - it has a fair number of recipes on it. All in all, good recipes...but some issues and a few modifications I would make when trying these recipes again.

The two recipes I tried were Apricot and Vanilla Chicken Baskets and Roasted Tomato with Goat Cheese Bruschetta

I'd have to say that the chicken baskets were better received (and probably executed) than the bruschetta. The baskets were yummy, presented well and still tasted decent when they weren't hot.

I'll talk more about the bruschetta tomorrow.

12 wonton wrappers
2 Tbsp (25 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp (25 mL) soy sauce
2 Tbsp (25 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) apricot jam
1 Tbsp (15 mL) apricot brandy (used regular brandy)
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 hot red chili with seeds, finely sliced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped cilantro (I left this out because I didn't have any and some people don't like cilantro)
2 green onions, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray and line each cup with a wonton sheet (notes to self - 1. don't put wonton in muffin cups too early - wontons will dry out, 2. keep a close eye on wontons - they brown quickly) .

Lightly spray wonton sheets and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from tins.

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a medium-sized skillet, add chicken, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice, cumin, ginger and black pepper (I marinated the chicken for about an hour before cooking it).

Cook for about 7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Add jam, brandy, vanilla, chili, cilantro and green onion and stir until sauce is smooth (note to self - apricot jam was stubborn about blending with the rest of the recipe).

I don't even know if I used the right type of chili. I probably could have used more than half of the chili.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Spoon (I used a fork because it was quite liquidy) chicken mixture into wonton cups and garnish with more chilies and cilantro sprigs, if desired (note to self - use left over juiced to flavour rice - I ended up leaving it in the pan and threw it out later. Wasted good flavour).

Here's the spread of appetizers (for 10 people). Needless to say, no one went hungry.

I like tip #8 from the Cooking with Booze website because there were 3 shrimp appetizers that were starting to look a bit nasty by the end of the night.

Final note: I made a double recipe of the baskets and had about 7-8 wontons left on the tray at the end of the night. Two guests complimented the wontons. StumbleUpon

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