My sister sent me this recipe and wrote, "I thought this is something you would like." Totally.
The chicken is marinated overnight. And it is by far the best part. It is very flavorful and tender. I will definitely make this again. I think for me, the marinade is too sweet as a sauce. I like it as just a marinade. I like it with the rice, chicken and some of the chunky stuff. I think it would also be good to use some chicken broth as a base and add some of the marinade to flavor it. Another option, would be to use less or no honey and less cinnamon. Oh yeah, and a lot more crushed red pepper flakes. I used a tsp, but it wasn't spicy at all. I think I could have done 2-3 tsp.
Just for the record, I needed to bake these for 1.5 hours to get them up to temp. The good thing is that you can't really overcook them because there is so much liquid.
We had this with a simple salad with a dijon vinaigrette (dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, a splash of soy sauce, salt, pepper and olive oil.
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 (do not substitute, it's available everywhere)
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)
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.
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.
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. (I used my meat thermometer that I placed in the thickest part of one of the thighs towards the middle of the dish so I did not even use a timer.)
Garnish each portion with a little chopped cilantro. Serve over rice or couscous.
(Servings: 4, Prep time: 20 min., Cook time: 50 min., Difficulty: Easy)