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Food & dining

Recipe for Passover stuffed chicken breasts with matzo farfel, apricots, and almonds

Stuffed chicken breasts with matzo farfel, apricots, and almonds

Serves 10

You need whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts for this dish. Most breasts come already cut in half, so you may need to order them. You can assemble the chicken, already rolled up and in the baking dish about two hours ahead; cover and refrigerate until baking.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

6 ounces white mushrooms, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 egg

1/4 cup chicken stock

2/3 cup matzo farfel

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup slivered almonds

5 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts (tenderloins removed, if attached)

1 jar (about 12 ounces) apricot preserves

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple

2/3 cup dry sherry or white wine, or more if necessary

Continue reading below

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and celery, turn the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the parsley, salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat.

2. In a bowl, beat the egg and stock. Add the matzo farfel and stir to coat with the liquid. Add the apricots, almonds, and mushroom mixture.

3. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a 10-by-15-inch baking dish that is at least 2-inches deep.

4. On a board, place the chicken breasts smooth sides down. Cover with plastic wrap. Pound with a meat mallet or skillet to flatten them to 3/4-inch. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working with one whole breast at a time, spoon about 3/4 cup of stuffing on one lobe. Roll up the chicken, starting at the covered side, so the two lobes overlap slightly. Alternatively, fold the uncovered lobe over the one with the stuffing. Either way, secure with 3 or 4 toothpicks. Place the stuffed breast in the baking dish. Stuff the remaining breasts with the remaining filling in the same way.

5. Spread the apricot preserves over the chicken, then spoon the crushed pineapple on top. Pour the sherry or wine around the chicken, adding a little more (or water) until the liquid comes about halfway up the sides of the dish.

6. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 55 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Timing will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts. When you pierce the thickest part, the juices should run clear, not pink.

7. Remove the toothpicks and cut each breast crosswise into 5 or 6 slices. Arrange on a platter. Spoon the cooking juices on top; pass the remaining juices separately. Adapted from Ellen Pildis

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