For Pesach: Apricot Chicken With Quinoa Almond Pilaf


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acQuinoa has become quite a Passover phenomenon over the last few years (see the kashrus information at the bottom of the recipe). I’ve enjoyed the ingredient for many reasons. First, although it is not a grain (it’s a berry), it has a light grain-like texture so it feels filling and satiating on Passover. It’s a great alternative to potatoes and is full of protein. I make it year round with black beans and corn and other interesting ingredients like edamame.

Serves 8


1 cup apricot preserves

4 tablespoons kosher for Passover mustard

4 tablespoons red wine

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 chickens cut up in 1/8’s


1 box (12 ounces) quinoa* (about 2 cups)

2 cups chicken broth

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

½ cup craisins

½ cup basil, finely chopped

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Chicken: Whisk the preserves, mustard, red wine, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder together in a baking dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for a least 1 hour or preferably overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover the chicken and the marinade and place in the oven and bake until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 50 – 75 minutes.

For the Pilaf:

Wash the quinoa in a colander or a sieve with cold water and drain off all the liquid. Place the washed quinoa, chicken broth, and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, 12 to 15 minutes. Move the quinoa into a large bowl. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the onion until translucent. Add the sugar and cook until the onion is slightly browned and caramelized. Turn off the heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Pour over the quinoa. Add the cranberries, onions, basil and toss to coast.

To serve: 
Place the quinoa on a plate. Top with the chicken, extra cooking liquids from the chicken pan and sliced, toasted almonds.

* The cRc approves the use of whole grain quinoa for Pesach on the following conditions:

The quinoa is imported exclusively from Bolivia and packed by companies that pack whole grain quinoa exclusively. While there may be others,Ancient Harvest and Trader Joe’s are two brands that only import quinoa from Bolivia and only pack whole grain quinoa.

The quinoa must be carefully inspected by hand before Pesach.
This is done by spreading quinoa, one layer at a time, on a board or plate, and check to be sure that there are no other grains or foreign matter mixed in with the quinoa. [This type of inspection would not help with Quinoa flour, pasta or any other version of quinoa which is not permitted on Pesach].

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