Middle-eastern chicken with apricot pilaff

Following on from Friday evening’s curry, I felt like something else spicy, but this time a bit more refined in flavour.

I marinated chicken breasts in a mixture of Syrian hot pepper paste, lemon juice, yoghurt and chopped dill and coriander for a couple of hours before baking them in the oven.

To go with the chicken I made a pilaff with sautéed onions, apricots, chicken stock, pine nuts and saffron, with chopped fresh dill, mint and coriander added at the end of the cooking time.

I finished the plate off with some more of the same chopped herbs, sliced tomato and cucumber and a drizzle of good olive oil.

This wasn’t too spicy so picking a wine wasn’t really that difficult. We had a bottle of 2008 Château Bois Pertuis from Waitrose. This is a predominantly Merlot-based wine with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from the northern part of the region and is drinking pretty well now, with soft ripe red fruits on the palate.

I suppose we could have drunk a full-bodied rosé with this and, if it had still been Summer, we probably would have. However, Autumn is well established now and red wines seem far more appealing.

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