Harissa Chicken and Apricot Pilaf

Our family and friends are becoming a bit impatient for us to move.  Kind of like little kids on a road trip.  Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?  I’ve already started moving stuff.  The big move won’t happen until we have all of our projects done.  I know I said this last time, but we are very close.  We hope to be done shortly.  Sometimes there are set backs, but I think we are past those. 

This weeks recipe comes from Love Food for Harissa Chicken and Apricot Pilaf.  This recipe uses harissa paste, a Middle Eastern pepper paste.  A well stocked grocery store will have it.  If you have a Middle Eastern grocery, even better.  Most everything else in this recipe can be found easily.  The only thing I see missing is the vitamins A and C.  I’m also going to use the Instant Pot to make this easier.  However, you can use the oven to make this too, if you don’t have one.

Here are the original stats:

Here’s what I changed:

  • I increased the servings from 4 to 8 to reduce the calories.
  • I replaced the basmati rice with brown basmati to increase the fiber.
  • I added red bell pepper and carrot to increase the vitamins A and C.
  • I deleted the added salt to reduce the sodium.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Harissa Chicken and Apricot Pilaf

Serves 8

  • 2 ounces pistachios or flaked almonds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 pound skinless and boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 –2 tsp rose harissa paste
  • 12 ounces brown basmati rice
  • 3 ounces soft dried apricots, halved
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken stock, plus extra as needed
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  1. In an Instant Pot on sauté mode, toast the pistachios or almonds for 1–2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in the Instant Pot, add the red onion and cook for 4–6 minutes until softened but not colored.
  3. Add in red bell pepper and carrot and cook until soft.
  4. Add the turmeric and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the chicken and cook for 4–6 minutes, turning until browned all over.
  5. Stir through the harissa paste, then add the rice, apricots and stock. Add the cinnamon stick, season with a generous grinding of black pepper and stir.
  6. Close the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 12 minutes.  Allow for a natural release.
  7. Remove the cinnamon stick, stir in the toasted pistachios or almonds, chopped coriander and check the seasoning. Serve garnished with coriander sprigs.

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