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Turkish Inspired Chicken with Apricots, Ginger, Saffron and Pistachio Nuts

Combine dried fruit, nuts and spices for a fragrant chicken dish full of texture. Serve with cous cous and Greek yoghurt.

Turkish Inspired Chicken with Apricots, Ginger, Saffron and Pistachio Nuts

Serves 6 – 8 

1.4 – 1.6kg free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces 

Salt flakes 

100ml extra virgin olive oil 

1 brown onion, finely diced 

100g fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks 

5 cloves garlic, bruised with the back of a knife 

2 green chillies, split 

2tsp ground cumin 

1tsp chilli flakes 

2tsp ground cinnamon 

2tsp ground coriander seeds 

1tsp freshly ground black pepper 

1tsp ground turmeric 

2 pinches of saffron threads 

5 sprigs of thyme 

200mls white wine 

400g Goulburn Valley Apricot Halves, drained 

50g dried apricots 

1 lemon, juiced and zest finely grated 

2tbsp honey 

2 chicken stock cubes 

400g Ardmona Rich & Thick Classic 

2 handfuls of shelled pistachio nuts, plus extra to serve 

Couscous to serve 

Handful of mint leaves to serve 

Plain yoghurt to serve 


Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces, season and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions, ginger, garlic and chilli and all the spices to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, adding a little more oil, if necessary. Add the tomato paste, saffron threads, and thyme and cook for another minute. Add the wine and the drained and dried apricots and bring up to a simmer. Add the lemon juice and zest, honey, and stock cubes, stir and add back the browned chicken pieces. Tip the tomatoes over the chicken and add enough water to just cover.

Cover with a lid and simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10–15 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through, and the sauce is slightly reduced, check the seasoning and then stir through the pistachio nuts. Garnish liberally with mint and pistachio nuts and serve with cous cous and plain yoghurt.

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2 Comments on Turkish Inspired Chicken with Apricots, Ginger, Saffron and Pistachio Nuts

  • Diane
    November 28, 2013 5:41 am

    Looks & sounds absolutely delicious! Although the ingredient list is quite long and I don’t know if we can get ‘Ardmona Rich & Thick ‘ in New Zealand. (If so : Where?)
    Is this a variation on the Turkish dish called Cherkez Chicken?

    • November 28, 2013 8:34 am

      Hi Diane, Thank you for your comment. Ardmona Rich & Thick is a type of canned tomatoes. You can substitute with fresh chopped tomatoes if you like.

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