Tzimmes Chicken with Apricots
Sheet pan meals are always welcome in my kitchen! Tzimmes Chicken with Apricots comes together on a baking sheet making dinner prep and cleanup easy and breezy. Plus, it transforms tzimmes from a side dish into a meal.
What in the world is tzimmes? If you grew up in an Ashkenazi Jewish household, you are familiar with this carrot side dish that made an appearance on the Passover and Rosh Hashanah dinner tables. It consists of carrots and dried fruits, like apricots or prunes, that are stewed together with warming spices.
The word tzimmes is a Yiddish word that translates into English as “a fuss.” Spoken by Ashkenazi Jews of central and eastern Europe, Yiddish combines German and Hebrew into a separate language that has its own pronunciation, idioms, and vocabulary. Interestingly, some Yiddish words have made their way into the English vocabulary, such as glitch, nosh, schlep, and schmuck.
So, how is tzimmes, the carrot side dish, a fuss? I imagine the peeling, chopping, and stewing of the ingredients is part of the fuss. But really, this veggie dish is relatively easy and is a sweet counterpoint to a savory entree like brisket or chicken.
And it uses one of my favorite dried fruits: apricots.
There is something very plush and luxurious about apricots. When fresh, they have velvety skin and tender but firm flesh. Yes, they are sweet but have just a touch of tartness to them.
Plus, they are so cute!
My husband’s grandmother had an apricot tree in the front yard of her Garden Grove home. He says they were the best apricots and I sometimes wonder what variety they were.
Once apricots are pitted and dehydrated, that sweetness is concentrated. But so is the tartness. The dried fruit is chewy with a musky, tangy, sweet flavor.
Something that really appeals to me about this sheet pan meal is that the entrée and the side dish cook together. Chicken plus carrots and apricots topped with a sweet and savory marinade? That equals dinner in under an hour in my book.
- Feel free to use all orange carrots in this dish. I happened to buy a bag of multicolor ones and wanted to use them up.
- It’s easiest to use your hands to toss everything together in a large bowl. But if that grosses you out, wear food-safe gloves or use a large spoon.
- Don’t be deceived by the chicken thighs in my photo. The ones I buy are usually much larger. So for once in my life, I can say, “in this photo my thighs are small.”
Many thanks to Epicurious for the tzimmes chicken with apricots, prunes, and carrots recipe.Print
- 3 lbs chicken thighs
- 1 lb rainbow carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 cup dried apricots
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup honey
- ⅓ cup lemon juice
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp lemon pepper
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 F/204 C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set aside.
- Place chicken, carrots, onion, and apricots in a large bowl.
- Stir together the oil, honey, lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, cumin, lemon pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Pour the oil mixture over the chicken mixture and toss to coat everything.
- Arrange the chicken on the prepared baking sheet then add the carrots, onion, and apricots around the chicken. Pour any remaining juices over everything.
- Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is done (meat thermometer reads 160 F/71 C) and carrots are fork tender. If carrots are not yet tender, remove the chicken from the sheet pan and cover it to keep warm while the carrots continue cooking for an additional 10-ish minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Keywords: tzimmes chicken with apricots