My key ingredient: apricots

Sunera Perera, chef at McGettigan’s JBR in Dubai tells us why the fruit is his favourite and shares a sage-and-apricot stuffed chicken recipe

Apricots have been cultivated in Armenia, Iran and parts of India since ancient times, although the fruit's exact origin remains unknown. They were brought to Greece by Alexander the Great, while in 17th-century England, apricot oil was used to treat swelling and ulcers. Apricots are also rich in fibre and antioxidants, and are good for your blood, skin and heart health.

Sunera Perera, chef at McGettigan's JBR in Dubai, says: "Apricots are one of my favourite fruits because they are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of pro-vitamin A carotenoids), and a good source of vitamin C, copper, dietary fibre and potassium. During Ramadan, it is essential for everyone fasting to consume nutritional dishes that will provide them with essential vitamins and nutrients to nourish them during the day. This sage-and-apricot-stuffed chicken, made with
a dash of honey, is a tasty and easy-to-make dish that people can share and enjoy."

Sage-and-apricot-stuffed chicken breast (Serves two)

Ingredients for the stuffing

75g brown onion

3g thyme

20g butter

20g dry apricots

40g breadcrumbs

3g orange zest

10g sage

Ingredients for the chicken

2 pieces of chicken breast

80g turkey bacon

Ingredients for the accompaniments

200g potatoes

20g garlic, chopped

125g carrots

10g honey

Method for the stuffing
To prepare the stuffing, first slowly cook the brown onion and thyme in butter to enhance the flavour. Add the apricot and cook further to extract the fruit's richness.

Add fresh breadcrumbs to bind all the flavours and finish the stuffing with orange zest and sage, along with seasoning.

Method for the chicken 

Stuff the chicken breasts and wrap with turkey bacon to keep them moist.

Slow-cook the chicken sous-vide for two hours. Finally, cook the chicken in the oven for seven to 10 minutes to give it a crispy taste.

Serving suggestion

Cook the potatoes with garlic and carrots in honey, and serve these as accompaniments.

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