Last week’s recipe:
Moroccan-style chicken with apricots and almonds
Recipe by Ariel’s Restaurant featured in The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook
This is an old favorite of Lee Duberman’s, which she has made for every restaurant that she has owned. It is rich, earthy, and inexpensive to make. The dish is best made with chicken thighs, preferably from high-quality local chickens. Pomegranate molasses is syrup made from reduced pomegranate juice; it can be found at Middle Eastern markets or in the international aisle at the supermarket. If you don’t feel like firing up the grill, you can cook the chicken indoors using a grill pan. Serve this chicken on a bed of Mediterranean Couscous Pilaf.
Makes 4 servings
For the chicken and marinade:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup Vermont honey
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2 3/4 pounds), trimmed
1 tsp kosher salt
For the sauce:
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
Method of preparation:
1. To make the chicken and marinade: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, coriander, and cinnamon, and cook, stirring the mixture often, for about 1 minute. Stir in the honey and molasses and heat until just bubbling. Pour half of the mixture into a small bowl and set aside to cool. Reserve the remaining marinade mixture in the saucepan.
2. Sprinkle the thighs with salt to taste, place them in a large zipper-lock plastic bag and add the cooled marinade from the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, seal the bag and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to 24 hours.
3. Heat a gas or electric grill to high heat. Lightly grease the grill grate with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chicken on the grill, cover, and cook until the meat registers 175 F, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let rest.
4. To make the sauce: While the chicken is cooking, add the chicken stock to the remaining marinade mixture in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the carrots and apricots and continue to simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
5. Whisk the cornstarch and water together, then whisk the mixture into the sauce and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with the almonds, and serve.
More Food News:
Vermonters of All Incomes Can Access Farmers’ Markets
EBT users can double their money with Harvest Health coupons
Vermont recently took the top spot in the 2013 Localvore Index meaning it has the highest number of farmers markets, food hubs, and CSA programs per capita in all 50 states and District of Columbia. As part of the effort to ensure that all Vermonters have access to local foods and to ensure farmers’ a bigger customer base, 45 farmers’ market sites in Vermont—more farmers’ markets than ever before—now accept 3SquaresVT benefits via Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.
Erin Buckwalter, Direct Marketing and Food Access Coordinator at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, says, “3SquaresVT brings over $12 million into the state each month. Increasing 3SquaresVT purchases at farmers’ markets allows farmers and other local businesses to capture more of these federal resources.” As word spreads about EBT availability at markets, more Vermonters take advantage of the option and markets see the economic benefit. In 2012 markets did almost $70,000 in 3SquaresVT/EBT sales.
Currently, over 100,000 Vermonters, or 1 in 6, receive 3SquaresVT. Angela Smith-Dieng, 3SquaresVT Advocacy Manager at Hunger Free Vermont says, “Every spring I hear from participants who want to be able to buy healthy, local food. Increasing access to farmers’ markets allows them the opportunity to buy high quality, affordable food for their families and support their local farmers and community at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
To help Vermonters stretch their food budget and encourage new customers to try out the market, most markets that welcome 3SquaresVT via EBT cards will also be offering “Harvest Health” coupons beginning in July. For every dollar EBT customers spend at the market, they will receive a dollar match in coupons up to $10 per market day. This year’s Harvest Health incentive project is funded by the Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Vermont Legislature through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, along with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and the Wholesome Wave Foundation.
Seven years ago, there were no markets that accepted EBT cards. This year over half of all markets in the state are welcoming the benefits (go to vermontfoodhelp.com for a map and listing). The work to expand EBT at farmers’ markets has been a collaborative effort, led by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, along with the Vermont Department for Children and Families, Hunger Free Vermont, UVM Extension, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, providing funding, technical assistance and outreach support to farmers’ markets that accept EBT cards.
About the EBT/Debit Project Committee: A collaboration of the Northeast Organic Farming Association-Vermont, the Vermont Department for Children and Families, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets,, and Hunger Free Vermont, the committee has been working since 2007 to expand Vermont’s EBT/Debit capacity at farmers’ markets by providing equipment, technical assistance, and outreach/promotion.
Learn more about nutrition through CCSU:
CCSU» Food Service News
Chittenden Central Supervisory Union. Serving the Essex Junction, Essex Union #46, and Westford Schools