Baked Chicken with Apricot and Mustard

Have you read Dinner, A Love Story yet? It's a great cookbook that follows the fantastic journey of Jenny Rosenstrach's family dinners over the course of many years. After reading this, Jenny and her clan felt like neighbors to me. I understood her struggles and also her desire to feed her family and to feed it well. I appreciated the anecdotes that she provided -- they made her recipes tangible in an empowering way. Mostly I felt great when I read "I don't even recommend attempting a sit-down meal with your kids until your youngest is at least three." PHEW. It feels impossible to sit down for a regular dinner with all of us in my house on any day other than Sunday. My youngest is 4 months old so reading Jenny's book just enabled me to cut myself some slack. I remember eating family dinner every night as a kid. But I haven't a clue when that started.

I also love that the book includes some tips and strategies for feeding picky eaters as well as some easy recipes to help your wee ones develop a broader palate. Anyway, back to the issue at hand - this awesome apricot mustard chicken... I made this dish the night of the Nemo storm and it was met with *rave* reviews. There was hardly a calorie left on the table! My 2 year old asked for it again last night - and he fondly refers to it as "Jam Chicken" but alas, I didn't have fresh thyme in the house so I used dried. I also modified the recipe slightly, as noted below. Special thanks to Jenny for a delightful read and an entertaining, informative blog.

Here's my modified recipe of Jenny's Apricot-Mustard Baked Chicken

Apricot-Mustard Baked Chicken, courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story

Apricot-Mustard Baked Chicken, courtesy of Dinner: A Love Story

6 skin-on chicken pieces (we used thighs and drumsticks) rinsed and patted dry
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup apricot jam
1/3 cup grainy mustard 
1/4 cup water
1 T dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken skin-side up in an oven-proof dish lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes. 
Meanwhile, mix the jam with the mustard, thyme and water into a small sauce pan and cook over low heat on the stove for about 3-5 minutes. Pour over the chicken after the first ten minutes are done and cook for another 15-20 minutes. Then (awesome Jenny suggestion) place the chicken under the broiler to get a crispy-looking skin top (note: we didn't do that because my son hates anything with "crust").