Brie and Apricot Chicken & Missin’ the Kitchen

by Jen on February 12, 2013

I miss cooking so much. I miss sitting down on Sundays, planning out my menu for the week and grocery shopping. I miss actually having someone to cook for. I miss the process of cooking. One of my favorite things in the world to do is settle into the kitchen, turn on music and get to work cooking and baking. I mean, for several years I posted multiple recipe a week on my food blog and at one point I even took on a project where I cooked 68 recipes from Gourmet magazine when it was announced that the magazine was being shut down after 68 years in print.

These days I feel like I’m lucky to get a home cooked meal together during the week, it’s an even rarer occurrence that I get to try a new recipe. I have dabbled in cooking for the week on the weekends but I just don’t love eating the same thing over and over again throughout the week. I think my attachment to cooking dinner comes from being raised in a family where we sat down together every night for dinner. I carried that tradition on when I left home and now I am missing the routine. Nothing makes me sadder at night than getting home at 8 p.m. starving, opening the freezer and resorting to some sort of frozen Trader Joe’s concoction for dinner.

So this week I did something about that. I left work semi-early last night (before 7), went to the grocery and did a major restock ($100 worth of damage) and then promptly got to cooking when I arrived home.

It wasn’t a new recipe but a tried and true favorite that I haven’t cooked quite some time. This is brie and apricot chicken. I served it alongside a harvest grain mix (would have rather had roasted potatoes but didn’t have any!) and some green beans with sauteed baby portobello mushrooms and balsamic. I’ve been making this recipe for over five years and originally posted it on my food blog but it’s evolved from the original so I thought I would share it with you again here. It’s a definite crowd pleaser. Who doesn’t love tender chicken, melted brie and sweet apricot preserves? It’s a relatively simple recipe and ready in under 20 minutes. Sometimes I also sprinkle slivered or sliced almonds over the apricots and brie but I didn’t have any on hand last night and it’s just as delicious without.

Brie and Apricot Chicken
(Adapted from the National Chicken Council)

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher or sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6-8 slices of brie
4 tablespoons apricot preserves
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Directions:

Arrange oven rack to top third of oven and preheat broiler on high. Place chicken between two sheets of wax paper or in a gallon bag and gently pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Remove and season generously with salt and pepper and then dredge in flour, shaking off excess.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute for about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden colored and cooked through, it’s okay if it still needs a minute or two because it’s going to cook a little more under the broiler. Since the chicken breasts have been pounded thin, they will cook faster. Remove chicken from pan and place in a greased baking dish. Spread 2 tablespoons of preserves on chicken (I usually don’t measure – just eyeball and spread it on) and cover with slices of brie. Sprinkle almonds on top if you’re using.

Place under broiler and cook for about 2 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly and chicken is cooked through. Make sure to watch the chicken while it’s under the broiler to be sure it doesn’t burn.

Yield: 2 servings

See, easy? Give it a try and let me know what you think.

I also bought ground turkey at the store last night. I’ve been craving burgers so I think I might do turkey burgers but let me know if you have any favorite recipes using ground turkey.

I was so excited to see organic Florida strawberries on sale for $3 at the store. Strawberry season makes me so happy because it’s the start of all the good produce to come later this spring and summer. I just love sweet, juicy strawberries that actually taste like strawberries (versus the ones you can get from god knows where year round that taste like nothing). Regular breakfasts lately have been Greek yogurt, fruit, granola or museli and sunflower seed butter because it’s easily portable to take to the gym.

Lunch yesterday was a homemade feta chive scone that I defrosted from the fridge and lentil veggie soup. The scone defrosted perfectly and tasted just as good as the day that I baked them!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy strawberry season? I would have to say that strawberry shortcake is my number one…followed by strawberry cupcakes!


Check out this recipe that my friend Josie posted for Red Velvet Strawberry Cupcakes…I WILL be baking these SOON! And how cute is her plate and styling?

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie @ running4cupcakes February 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm

That recipe is right up my alley – I love brie and apricot preserves – YUM! I Thanks.

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2 Jennifer@knackfornutrition February 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I totally agree with you about having home cooked meals. It was something I really valued growing up and struggle to maintain as a working adult. That said, I took some time this weekend and made my dad’s famous meatloaf (and used ground turkey!) I posted it today so if that sounds like something you are interested in check it out! :)

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3 Jen February 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm

i will! thank you so much!

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4 Heather @ girlyeverafter February 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I love new chicken recipes and this one is just in time. I was going to get a plain ole rotisserie chicken tonight, but this is way better. Martha Stewart’s website is where I’ve got my favorite turkey burger recipes before. There all good and simple.

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5 Jen February 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm

thanks for the recommendation. i love martha!

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6 Rebecca @ Pavlova's Dog February 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm

I think you’ve just answered my ‘ARGH WHAT DO I SERVE MY FAMILY FOR DINNER TOMORROW?!?!?!’ dilemma! :).

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7 Linda February 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

You remind me so much of my husband. He decompresses from his day at work by coming home and cooking. The music is on and an adult beverage is in order. :)
Last night he whipped up scallops, haricot vert and artichokes. It’s one of the easiest meals and hands down my favorite. Sometimes we add sun dried tomatoes, garlic, shallots or slivered onions. I remember you posting about Vivace’s scallops and I’m not sure if that is something you make but it is so easy! We use a grill pan and spray it with cooking spray then season the scallops with a little salt, pepper and lemon. That’s it and they come out fantastic!!
I recently made this great turkey soup I found from Giada on Food Network. Excellent and the ground turkey worked perfect. I substituted quinoa for the brown rice. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/turkey-kale-and-brown-rice-soup-recipe/index.html

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8 kaila@ healthy helper blog! February 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Quite the gourmet! That meal looks delicious and beautiful..very magazine worthy! :)
I love pairing sweet flavors like fruit with salty foods, like cheese!

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9 She Rocks Fitness February 12, 2013 at 6:32 pm

As a family we would eat dinner at the table almost every night during the week! It was truly special now that I look back on it. No TV; home cooked meals; and definitely some entertaining conversations when there are 6 people at the dinner table. Very grateful that I had that. Big fan of strawberries for breakfast like your delicious bowl.

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10 Hilary February 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I love turkey burgers but there is something so comforting and satisfying about eating a big bowl of chili and cornbread! I have a great recipe I use all the time…

http://redheadedink.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/sweaters-football-chili-fall/

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11 kat February 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I miss cooking, too. Since we moved to Dallas, I have just not been feeling it. Totally uprooting your life/routine sometimes just throws everything off. My current work/workout schedule has me gone from home for 11-12 hours a day and the last thing I feel like doing when I finally get home is trying to figure out dinner. And being in a crappy apartment with a crappy little kitchen has not helped. But all of this will change soon! Thanks for this post, you have reminded me that everyone goes through a rut where we can’t make time to meal plan/cook and it’s always possible to get back to it! Looking forward to being able to host friends in Asheville again soon, let us know next time you come up!

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12 Kim February 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I love your Greek Chicken Burgers (I only had ground turkey on hand so that’s what I used) and your Artichoke and Feta Stuffed Turkey Burgers from Bakin and Eggs. I actually defrosted a piece of the Cheesy Beer Quick Bread tonight to eat with dinner tonight as well! Look forward to seeing what kind of turkey burgers you make- or you could always use or revamp the old recipes for new readers to enjoy!

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13 Ruby February 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I agree – cooking with music is so therapeutic! Between school and work I don’t have time for it anymore either. Cooking for one is much harder, both mentally and physically. You’ll find a way to get it back in to your life … and I will too, I hope. I’m thinking of making better use of the crock pot, maybe give that a try!

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14 Michelle February 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm

That chicken dish sounds like yummy deliciousness!! I know what you mean about cooking a home made meal and no one to cook for or you eating it for a week (ugh!). I remember when I was single and decided to go to the grocery store on a Friday night for a special meal. I Went to the meat counter and ordered one small fillet mignon and six shrimp. The guy at the meat counter said “Six shrimp!! Who you cooking for?”. I raised my chin and said “Me! Cause that’s who’s important!”. Then I walked away.

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15 Heather February 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Grrrr. I wrote a long comment and it went away when I tried to submit it. Oh well.

1) Hugs.
2) That chicken/brie/apricot recipe is delish!
3) I get where you’re coming from about missing having someone to cook for. When my husband deploys, I eat “single girl food’ for months on end. After a while you just get tired of it. I would randomly cook an epic meal for myself, just because cooking is therapeutic. You may be cooking for yourself, but you’re worth the effort.

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16 Katherine February 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm

You look so cute in your lil’ apron!

http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com

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17 Kelly February 13, 2013 at 1:12 am

Hi, first want to say I love your blog and read every post. I have a question about the brie on the chicken, is the 16 slices cut from a wheel (or triangle) of brie or is that pre-cut brie?

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18 Lee C February 13, 2013 at 6:05 am

We just made turkey burgers last night, all I do is add bbq sauce and a couple spoonfuls of almond flour to the ground turkey and then grill the burgers. The key is in the toppings! We had bacon, avocado, carmelized onions and tomatoes and wrapped in lettuce instead of buns, DELISH!

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19 Babs February 13, 2013 at 6:12 am

Those cupcakes loooooooooooooook tasty!

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20 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope February 13, 2013 at 6:24 am

I feel the same way… when I lived at home I had parents and brothers to bake/cook for. I used to do a lot of baking and LOVED it, but since I’m living on my own now for the past 3 years, I’ve slacked in that department. Cooking is something I’ve always wanted to get more into, but it’s hard just cooking for one! Most recipes are for about 6, and it’s tough to muster up the motivation to cook for just yourself. Love this recipe and good for you for getting back into it! :)

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21 Tara | Treble in the Kitchen February 13, 2013 at 8:26 am

Jen, I totally understand how you miss being in the kitchen. I came from a family that sat down to dinner every night and had a big family meal on Sundays, I love trying new recipes, and spending the day just baking away but lately….that has not happened. I am getting married in July and have a lot of other commitments on my plate and I am hoping that things will slow down after the summer :) This meal looks so tasty!!

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22 Samantha February 13, 2013 at 8:58 am

Yum, the chicken/apricot combo sounds great, I’ll have to give this a try! Since you’re into the savory/sweet combo, you should check out these turkey meatballs with raspberry balsamic glaze. I just made them last weekend (when we snowed in!) and they came out great. I’m not a fan of blue cheese, so I stuffed mine with feta – delicious!

http://www.cookingforkeeps.com/2013/02/05/blue-cheese-stuffed-turkey-meatballs-with-raspberry-balsamic-glaze-2/

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23 Stephanie February 13, 2013 at 9:18 am

My husband and I loved these Green Chili Burgers made with ground turkey. The avocado-sour cream topping was especially good.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/green-chili-chicken-burgers/

I’m not much of a cook during the week as I just get home too late so I usually eat scrambled eggs or a chicken sausage. But I do look forward to trying new recipes on Sundays. This Sunday’s plan? Chicken Jambalaya in the Crockpot.

http://www.mcmania-ourlifeasweknowit.blogspot.com

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24 Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More February 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

Those cupcakes look scrumptious!

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25 Sherie February 13, 2013 at 10:58 am

That was the most difficult adjustment for me when I went through my divorce. I LOVE to cook and looked forward to plotting new recipes and showing my love through food I ate out and ate “single girl food” for ages and just now am feeling like it’s time to start doing what I love again–even if just for me! :)

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26 Grace @ PracticingGrace February 13, 2013 at 11:10 am

It’s always an adjustment. But you’ll figure out how to make it work. Smaller portions, dinner parties, etc. If you love cooking you’ll do it, jenn!

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27 Allison H. February 13, 2013 at 11:11 am

Goat Cheese Stuffed Turkey Burgers with Roasted Red Pepper Relish – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Goat-Cheese-Stuffed-Turkey-Burgers-with-Roasted-Red-Pepper-Relish-2279

I HIGHLY recommend this. It’s one of the best burgers I have ever eaten. It makes a lot of red pepper relish so I usually use the leftovers on turkey sandwiches, sooo good!

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28 Jen February 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

allison! so crazy – i just found this recipe this morning and was going to make it today! hahaha! glad to know it’s a winner.

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29 J February 13, 2013 at 4:28 pm

I think I might have to try this too! Yum!

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30 Josie February 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

Glad you are finding your way back into the kitchen – I’ve had that chicken bookmarked from you for YEARS!! And thanks for the shout out – hope you like the cupcakes!! :)

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31 Lindsey February 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Awww you know what?! You are so passionate about cooking, why not invite a friend over for dinner? You get to relax and cook, and your friend gets to enjoy your company and some yummy food! So get your butt back in the kitchen girl!! Make it a weekly thing!!

The chicken looks SO yummy! I’m going to attempt to make this Saturday! I must admit chicken intimates me. Seems to turn about tough and chewy way too often! :-(

Any tips?

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32 natalie@thesweetslife February 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

totally remember your gourmet project! i miss your food blog but still love reading about fitness and life over here :)

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